You only thought you were elite. You were simply younger and things are more fun when you’re younger.
Go to Discord or TikTok today. It’s wild-wild west for the kiddos on there because it’s THEIR time now and they’re having a blast as they should.
You received the internet world as it was constructed by the people older than you.
You entered into an ecosystem that existed that allowed you certain things and disallowed other things. But because it was “all there was “when you entered it, it was “normal”, and everything in the future is gauged for you by that.
I’m nostalgic for VT220 green screens and pre-www internet with gopher, ftp, LISTSERV lists, BITNET relay chat, animated ASCII, chat rooms on “PC-Link” and dial-up BBS’.
And all the same social problems you see today was there too, just smaller, as it was whenever you first got on too. You just don’t see it when you’re having fun. The older ones on there at the time see it but say nothing because you’re having fun and mostly harmless (but not always) just as they had mostly harmless (but not always) fun in their day.