SpongebobFan1994

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Because of the browser wars, a small number of companies attempting to monopolize the web, personal websites becoming a dying trend, social media addiction, spyware, and numerous other issues affecting the modern web, I've occasionally been thinking about how we could remove all of them and enjoy the web again. I'm not going to act like I have all of the answers (because I obviously don't), but I can offer some suggestions. Feel free to add your own, and to correct me on whatever I might've gotten wrong.

Use the command line to access the web
Most of the population is only aware of FireFox, Chrome, Chromium, Edge, and Brave (with the last two being reskins of Chromium). However, it's completely possible to access the web using the command line (ex: by typing "Lynx (and the URL you want to visit)", you can have the Lynx Browser take you to that URL). While doing it this way will feel archaic and awkward for anyone not used to it, at least it loads webpages faster, consumes less bandwidth, and is more secure because it doesn't display ads or trackers. Best of all, because numerous commands either currently exist or are in development, it makes the command line very flexible and easy to work with. Although promoting this on a wide-scale would be preferable, doing so is easier said than done, considering the amount of Linux YouTubers making tutorials on how to do so still hasn't scratched the surface. If anyone has suggestions for how to make this more popular, let me know.

Use alternative sites and software
The reason why companies like Google have managed to dictate how the web is used is because we allow them to do so (keep that in mind). By using alternative sites and software, we can eventually put an end to their power structure. Instead of using search engines like Google, Yahoo, or Bing, try using DuckDuckGo, Whoogle, or Searx, as they're all based on FOSS. Rather than putting all of your trust in a corporate email provider, self-host by setting up an email client, and then turn an old computer into personal server for it. In response to YouTube's dominance, watch videos through some kind of Terminal command that opens up a video player program, and self-host your own videos on your own website. If you're able to do so, you may have to create your own alternatives.

Code your own website
According to this article, https://www.freelancer.com/articles/web-development/how-to-build-a-website-with-python, you can use Python for web development, and due to the nature of the language, it's relatively quick and easy to learn and deploy. Combine that with a text-based browser, and you'll end up using significantly less code because you're not adding in the flashy junk code that modern webpages use. Hopefully this leads to a future trend in web design. The only thing is, not everyone prefers Python, so feel free to use whatever language you feel comfortable with. To make your site distinct from others, one thing you could do is use ASCII art. There might be a way to create a webpage layout using ASCII art, but I haven't found any so far. Maybe someone could create that. I recently discovered that gifs can be played using ASCII art. Like the websites from the 90's, maybe you'll want to include a hit counter, guestbook, and a web-ring (provided there are commands to include these). There's plenty of other tools you can use, and whatever you choose is up to you.

Stop using social media
From personal experience, I can honestly say that social media is addicting and time-wasting, and I don't want someone else to go down the same path as I have with it. One of the reasons it's addicting and time-wasting is because algorithms are purposely put in to keep you on the site. The more you use it, the more data the company behind it collects, and the more money they make selling it (which is why data is said to be the new oil). Another reason is the dopamine effect of getting notifications, whether it'd be likes, comments, getting a new follower, etc. Because the site staff can deplatform you at any time and for any reason (with or without reasonable cause, according to it's terms of service), that's another reason I wouldn't recommend using it. To keep in contact with the people you know, either talk to them over the phone, through email, or through FOSS instant messaging software. I'll admit I've started to use Minds.com to promote that Evolve Movement I created a while back (https://linux.org/threads/the-evolve-movement.37883/) rather than for my personal life, but to avoid sounding like a hypocrite, I'll abstain from social media completely.

These are just a few examples I can think of off of the top of my head. Hopefully this goes somewhere.
 


gvisoc

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There are in-between terms that you can implement, though. For example:
  • Instead of coding your own web you can use static website generators in a way that will benefit the reader. That way you can just limit yourself to learn to write something like Markdown, which has a much kinder learning curve than coding the whole site myself in any language.
    • For example, I use Jekyll, which is written in Ruby and under available MIT license, and I've got a website that uses absolutely zero cookies, that works when you disable javascript (it doesn't have generated javascript files, but I'm not sure if it has inline code) and that is superfast.
    • The absence of cookies protects the readers of my site, and it makes them inmune to my choices, for both the website (Jekyll) and the hosting (GitHub pages + Cloudflare + LetsEncrypt).
  • Instead of quitting social media, you can just disable all notifications and see how you go. I did it, and it made a huge difference.
Aside from "Using alternative software" and having a personal website, which will add more diversity for the wider community, I think that the above would solve a problem for the one individual that implements those measures, but would not be solving the problems for the Web, or of the Web.

In that sense, I would add the following:
  • Keep everything in your connected devices (computers, phones, tablets, printers, router) and your websites, up to date. If anything under our responsibility spreads malware because it has known security vulnerabilities, we're part of the problem.
  • Contribute.
About the last one, I think that the way to solve the problems of the Web, or to fix the Web, we could consider contributing to an open source project related to it. Even with just fixing the documentation, or by sending comments, raising issues, opening bug reports, discussing in their forums. Make whatever alternative site or software you use, bigger.
 
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SpongebobFan1994

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@gvisoc I know static webpages exist, but I didn't know anything about the generators that make them. I'll have to look into that.

I still wouldn't recommend social media. One thing I forgot to mention was the feed can also be addicting because you see everyone's statuses or whatever, and there's sometimes where I'd waste quite a bit of time replying to their statuses. If they were something political or anything that angered me, I felt more compelled to reply to them, and if they or someone else replied back in a combative way, it led to a flame war between the both of us. This is a little off-topic, but I remember I recently watching a video of a guy talking about what it was like growing up in the 80's and 90's, and how they were much different time periods back then. One of the things he mentioned was before the advent of the web, everyone was forced to work on their social skills in person, and wouldn't say the things many people now say, and often get away with, online. Because newer and incompetent parents are being neglectful to their children, or even their grandchildren, by pacifying them with technology, they're inadvertently allowing them to become addicted to social media, or say or act in ways that they learn on social media. Thankfully, the Fediverse purposely creates smaller, more community-oriented sites, but because growing up on a screen, and then hiding behind it, has become so commonplace these days, it's still challenging to get people to have meaningful and positive conversations these days. This is why when I have kids one day, I'd limit and monitor their technology usage.

You said these kinds of changes would affect the individual applying them, and not the web itself. If a growing number of people applied these kinds of changes as well, would the web start to look different as a result?
 

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I think i will always prefur the GUI when it comes to browsing,

I like your post you hit on what i feel are important social and cultural shifts which need to be talked about openly as a civilization.
The new currency isnt money and bitcoin but actually appears to be "time", these social media platforms have many people hooked spending every single possible moments checking "likes", "subscribers", "friend lists" ect ect. These companies want us to consume as much of our time as possible on their apps, social media platforms and buying products. The internet is no longer just a place to buy , sell and occasionally chat with friends, its become a parralell digitial reality to our current physical reality.

Its easy to see how people, and especially young impressionable people can lose perspective with over consumption of social media. They forget that every body projects only their ideal digital self online, you could say a false self. Most people only project what they want others too see of them.

Im very concerned for the affects of long periods of time on social media, it has not been properly studied, hence we are the ginnue pig gerneation, perhaps people will look back in 10-20 years time and talk about how our generation trashed themselves with low level microwaves from mobile phones and wifi's, how they trashed their mental health by aspiring to false social media influencers , how the average person has lost the ability to think rationallly and logically due to information overload.
How the screens surpress melatonin which adversely affects the endocrine system and stops epople sleeping properly and throws their circadium, hormonal and mental systems out of balance.

We need to use technology mindfully and not let it use us. I am not against powerful technologies , im only against it if it detracts value from our lives instead of enhancing it.

Theres something very basic which is becoming lost, the ability just to be still and relaxed, be out in nature, to move our bodies and eat good food and sleep well . these are the foundations of a good happy healthy life, sadly these basics are unconsciously fitted in as needed to accomadate a hectic ,digital life.

n
 

KGIII

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I host a couple of you at no cost, but you've gotta babysit yourself. If you're in need of hosting for a personal website (actual real hosting, complete with cPanel and Softaculous) for an interesting project, just let me know. We'll figure something out.
 

gvisoc

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You said these kinds of changes would affect the individual applying them, and not the web itself. If a growing number of people applied these kinds of changes as well, would the web start to look different as a result?
For example, browsing with the terminal is a preference of yours, it is not going to work for the wider community (e.g.: graphic material —not all information is text ). It will adjust the experience to your taste, but not for others.

Instead, promoting a web free of programmatic advertisement and more accessibility will make things like general browsing or reader mode to work better for everyone.

This is like using a pihole and extensions to my browser: it solves how I perceive the web, but it doesn’t make the web any better in itself.
 
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SpongebobFan1994

SpongebobFan1994

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@smooth_buddha Couldn't agree more
@gvisoc I never said using the Terminal was my personal preference, I just thought it'd be an interesting way to end the browser wars. With how you said promoting a web free of programmatic advertisement would be better for everyone, that makes more sense. After looking into the Gemini Protocol, that seems to be what you're describing.
 

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I did get a Twitter account about a week ago. It's just to promote my Linux site. I think I'm going to automate that away with IFTTT.
Linux site?
 

xXNORDXx

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Facebook is just full of a bunch of fake people that want to snoop into your life.
Its really a way to waste time.
I joined in 2009 ended 2022 wish I hadn't ever joined it but then again i found my wife on it. lol
 

KGIII

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Linux site?

LOL I share a link every other day. It's a year long project where I write an article every other day, but it's going well enough that I'm probably going to keep going even after the year is over. The year ends in just a few months, I guess.

 

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I think the worst of the internet it's the social media. Never liked to use facebook, and the few times I used this, just brought me trouble with my family for trivial reasons. I like instagram just to post nice photos, and see what my closest friends and family are posting. But I hate all the culture of opulence (a lot of times a false opulence) and the influences and coaches. It's a cancer. Twitter is another place I can't stand anymore. Too much narcissist and egocentric people throwing their dumb thoughts like they are genius. Disgusting.
 

BoringZombie

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I think the worst of the internet it's the social media. Never liked to use facebook, and the few times I used this, just brought me trouble with my family for trivial reasons. I like instagram just to post nice photos, and see what my closest friends and family are posting. But I hate all the culture of opulence (a lot of times a false opulence) and the influences and coaches. It's a cancer. Twitter is another place I can't stand anymore. Too much narcissist and egocentric people throwing their dumb thoughts like they are genius. Disgusting.
Social media isn't the worst on the internet.
 
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SpongebobFan1994

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The suicide rate would increase 90% if people couldn't live on Facebook.
I think the worst of the internet it's the social media. Never liked to use facebook, and the few times I used this, just brought me trouble with my family for trivial reasons. I like instagram just to post nice photos, and see what my closest friends and family are posting. But I hate all the culture of opulence (a lot of times a false opulence) and the influences and coaches. It's a cancer. Twitter is another place I can't stand anymore. Too much narcissist and egocentric people throwing their dumb thoughts like they are genius. Disgusting.
Facebook is just full of a bunch of fake people that want to snoop into your life.
Its really a way to waste time.

Here's an interesting article and movement I've discovered https://www.sunset.com/home/natural-home/unplugging-lifestyle
 
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