The Beauty of ROFLCon
My favorite thing about the gathering of the memes – I’ve attended each year in some incarnation since its inception in 2008 – is that it feels almost like a support group, being surrounded by people with the same kind of intrinsic knowledge and hobbies. It’s a rare and magical validation of the hours sunk into laughing, recoiling in horror and sharing things online. It is especially true because most of us experience the Internet physically alone, even though we are virtually connected to millions of people.
Like the rest of the Web, Internet culture has its growing pains, and ROFLCon is the one time each year we can gather and dissect and discuss the communities, forums, images, GIFs and videos that circumscribe the way we share information, ideas and humor online.
It’s a rare and safe space to explore these themes – although it might be a dying breed itself. The organizers, Tim Hwang and Christina Xu, said this was their last year putting on the event.
“See you guys the next time the Internet gets together,” said Mr. Hwang, as a final farewell.
I was honored to be on the final panel with my fellow Internet advocates, but it's on all of us to make sure the memes (and Internet) are safe forever-ever.