The Rise of Internet Fiction: Blending Reality and Fiction—Not Just Ghosts in the Machine

So when the internet first became accessible to a wide range of people, it wasn’t just corporations and commercial institutions that flooded the World Wide Web with their websites, advertising products and making their information publicly available. One of the biggest trends of the time was blogging, and according to reports by The Guardian, by 2008, 41% of all internet users in the UK had visited a blog.
With the rise of websites like Tumblr and WordPress, we’ve seen millions of blog posts emerge on the web. According to, there were 11 million microblogs on Tumblr by 2009.

But while many people used their blogs to talk about their daily lives, even more began experimenting with the new medium, using it to showcase their works of fiction to the millions of internet users across the world. With so much potential for exposure and so little restrictions, more and more fictionists came to the internet to share their work, giving rise to communities dedicated to these stories. Because of the nature of stories found on the internet, however, it is always difficult to draw the line between fiction and non-fiction, and an author could claim that his work was factual, when it was, in fact, fiction. Stories like Ted the Caver’s immediately come to mind.
While many had often viewed these fictitious tales as misleading, the internet has reacted differently to them. Being a relatively new medium, the internet has showed a penchant for blending unlikely genres together. Even games on the internet have taken a turn towards reinventing the classics, with Pocket Fruity introducing “fusion slots”—games that tie together the mechanics of popular mobile games with traditional slot games. Internet users have shown an affinity for the new and innovative, and as such, blended genres have become more successful.
In fact, fiction and non-fiction have blended seamlessly in a subreddit of popular social site Dubbed NoSleep, the subreddit is a haven for those looking for horror stories to send chills down their spine, and not just because of the creativity of the stories, but also because all of the stories on NoSleep are presumed to be true. In fact, one of the rules for the sub reads, “Suspension of disbelief is key here. Everything is true here, even if it’s not. Don’t be the jerk in the movie theater hee-hawing because monkeys don’t fly.”
The stories on NoSleep range from disturbing, with some accounts from supposed police officers and soldiers who investigated strange occurrences, to downright bizarre, talking about meeting death or seeing what it’s like on the other side. And of course, the community of NoSleep assume all of the stories to be true, offering their sympathies to survivors of the stories, or offering advice on how to protect themselves.
The internet has surely become a haven for experimentation, and fiction has seeming found its new home in the internet. The medium continues to evolve, giving rise to new forms of fiction.

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