You may be expecting me to talk about how Discord as a company has totally devolved, or how Discord is a massive privacy concern, or how Discord’s moderation team bans you for holding the wrong opinion. These are all true, but I want to make it clear that this post is not about that and is instead about the culture of the people of Discord itself, which has gone to total shit. (I’ll possibly leave that for another post - I haven’t seen all the issues of Discord-as-a-company compiled anywhere yet.)
When I first started using Discord roughly 4 years ago, it was stupid easy to find servers and make friends. There are tons of websites that let server owners advertise their servers, and lonely people will go on these websites to server surf and make new friends. Everyone wins. I’ve done it plenty, and have made several friends this way. In fact, I still have friendships from the very first server I joined 4 years ago! However, server surfing has gotten more and more miserable as time has gone on.
I don’t think this is as simple as having higher standards for friends than I did four years ago. In fact, in those four years, I’ve seen a growing population of servers that are labelled as both 18+ and SFW. The average age of a Discord user seems to have slowly sunk lower and lower, and these servers are trying to fight that. They are desperately looking for members that are more mature than rocks.
Another major issue: As I’ve spent more and more time on Discord, I’ve found myself taking it less and less seriously. But everyone else seems to be doing the exact opposite! These peoples’ prides and egos seem to genuinely be affected by Discord. Their self esteem takes a direct hit when they are not moderators, when their roles are lower down than others, and when people don’t follow the rules of the server. When an obvious troll comes in, people tend to make a huge fuss out of it, managing to enable the troll for several minutes in the process. When a controversial conversation gets going, different opinions are rarely tolerated. (This might not be a Discord issue specifically, but damn if it doesn’t bug me.)
The end result of all of the above is that almost every good Discord server either...
1. Goes private. It’ll be borderline impossible to get an invite to a private server. Most people who enter the private server bubble enjoy it, since the rest of Discord is batshit insane, and don’t leave the bubble much.
2. Goes to shit. Too many of the wrong kind of people will join. They might not even be the wrong kind - they just might be totally different from the original group of people. Then, any new people who join will not see the genuine culture of the server, and only the one from the “wrong” people. This issue gets worse and worse if left unchecked.
I miss you, old Discord. You were an amazing place to make friends.
This post is a thinly veiled cry for help. Where do you find Internet friends lately? I love my IRL friends, but my online friends have usually had more similar interests to me.