i've had to block myself from accessing the red scare reddit forum ('redscarepod'). it was briefly enlightening, but it's incredibly actives, so much new stuff on there every day, and it was melting my brain a bit. it is quite surprising to me how comprehensively it got under my skin in a matter on months. changed my opinions on a few things. also found bits of the board vocabulary running through my head. 'L-posting'. 'many such cases'. 'age gap discourse'. there is a kind of weird social science going on online i think, and forums etc are the perfect way to inculcate beliefs. definitely on that board there is a collective-ish way of thinking about the world, or at least there are a set of beliefs that a lot of people posting on there share, and it is comprehensively a discourse with its own vocab etc. hanging out with young americans a bit at the moment and it's definitely helped to understand some of the terminology they're using.
maybe a generational thing, but there is something i've noticed about internet forums, which is that people basically never talk about them in real life. presumably loads of people are posting on or are reading through forums. but i don't think i've known anyone admit to actually doing it, which is a bit weird when you think about it. there's still something quite deeply intimate about the internet i think, it still has that feeling of being a personal, interior activity. a private activity. what a weird and malleable thing to have to deal with.