Visit The Nicest Place On The Internet before it’s ruined

A child hugs a robot in an apparent beta version of the virtual hugging website.

A child hugs a robot in an apparent beta version of the virtual hugging website.
Photo: Chip Somodevilla (Getty Images)

The internet is capable of providing us with instant connection to total strangers. At one point, in the heady tech-utopian 1990s, this extraordinary feature seemed like it might finally be the key to a blissful global unity, where people across geographic and cultural divides overcome the differences that divide us and live, instead, in happy digital unity. In practice, connecting with strangers online is more likely to introduce you to exciting new ways to learn how and why you suck or introduce and spread virtually enabled nightmare behavior.

To that last point: Please enjoy a simple, kindhearted website about giving and receiving online hugs now because it will definitely be ruined before much longer.

The Nicest Place On The Internet was created by Toby Benjamin in order to, as the About copy states, give visitors “a little pick-me-up” on bad days. “So come on by to turn the sad into happy and the happy into a celebration,” it continues. “Cause this is a nice place to visit on days like today.”

It consists of nothing but YouTube videos of people from around the world looking into a camera and giving you a hug that bypasses space and time. A gentle song by My Brightest Diamond plays in the background. Users are encouraged to send in their own hugs through a submission form. It is, as its name suggests, just plain nice.

Naturally, then, it won’t be long before the internet does what it does best and find ways to subvert the positive intentions of the site by ruining it in clever, terrible ways that its creator never imagined. Our only hope is that the version of The Nicest Place On Earth that currently exists is properly archived so people in the future can see that, regardless of anything else, the website existed in its proper form for some period of time.

[via Boing Boing]

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