To kill some time I opened another thread at random, something posted by a computer science major in London. He wanted to kill himself. I let myself read the thread to completion, knowing that it would be a waste of time. They never ended up killing themselves. Except for the times when they did. That was why people read them. There was no way to know if the thread you were reading live was going to be the one where he did it and those threads would become history, their screenshots passed around for years, the bragging rights going to the lurkers who had followed the thread live as it happened. They had been there. They had witnessed it. True, this privilege was unverifiable. There was no way to prove to someone you had actually been there, that you weren’t just recycling screenshots from someone else. But you, the bragger, would know the truth, you and your god, and on a place like the world wide web that was the best reward you could hope for.
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