mIRC) and joined some server / channels on a irc network. I don't know why but I felt like when I was 16 years old. The charm of anonymity, the clear font of mIRC, talk with people that you don't know... this was the net! All us wanted to remain anonymous, but wanted to share our ideas and pass an evening (and often an entire night) talking about everything. No one was judged because of estetic aspect or the social position.
After this Facebook arrived with all the rest of social networks, full of pictures, videos, games, and so many stupid things and the net was transformed in a very big television where everyone would like to appear and the best of the net was lost.
Now, on the net, so much time is wasted to share stupid things without communicate nothing to others, without write something special, something that you have thought and not just something that someone has thought just to let you "click-and-share".
Now, all chats are restricted to known people, friends that you already have in the "real life". Friends that often thinks like you. So, there is no way to grow in this kind of net.
An exception can be Twitter just because you can use hashtags to share your ideas... but is not comparable to IRC... ;-)
Maybe I'm a little nostalgic but I think that compare ourself with others is the best way to build our character and when IRC channels was full of people the net was better than now!