The Dark Forest Theory of the Internet

This is also what the internet is becoming: a dark forest

Photo by Rosie Fraser on Unsplash

These are all spaces where depressurized conversation is possible because of their non-indexed, non-optimized, and non-gamified environments.

Podcasts are another example. There, meaning isn’t just expressed through language, but also through intonation and interaction. Podcasts are where a bad joke can still be followed by a self-aware and self-deprecating save. It’s a more forgiving space for communication than the internet at large.

The Bowling Alley Theory of the Internet

I went dark on the internet a few years ago. I took social apps off my phone, unfollowed everyone, the whole shebang. This was without a doubt a good decision. I’ve been happier and have had better control over my time since. Many others have done this and are doing this. A generation of modern wannabe monks.

Those of us building dark forests risk underestimating how powerful the mainstream channels will continue to be.

Not sharing was my choice, of course, and I didn’t question it. My alienation from the mainstream was their loss, not mine. But did this choice also deprive me of some greater reward?

Author of “This Could Be Our Future: A Manifesto for a More Generous World”; Cofounder of Kickstarter; Bentoist; http://www.ystrickler.com