- "Don't worry...you can never hold anyone's attention around here this time of year. Advanced September Syndrome...everyone makes an A.S.S. of themselves their first year...some do it every year."
In the old days, the way a vast majority of people would get access to Usenet was through college computer systems. Many college students would come onboard when the semester started and vanish into Limbo in the summer months. This meant that the month of September was associated in the minds of old-school net users with hordes of clueless newbies marching into groups, ignoring the rules and culture and kicking up Discourse (as we'd call it now). Over the year, the new arrivals would get used to the customs and mores of these communities, learn how to use the tools at hand, and become a part of the community, until a new wave came the next September.
In 1993, this all started to change as internet service providers like Delphi instituted Usenet gateways. The floodgates were fully opened in March 1994 (not long before rec.arts.comics.creative was created) when America Online opened access to Usenet, leading to a bigger wave of new users than ever before, flowing in on a constant basis. Oldbies struggled to keep up, often referring to the new state of things as Eternal September.
In a time where Usenet has shrunk and everyone grows up with the Internet, one could say that Eternal September has finally ended. But in an era where enormous social media sites collapse, sending users scurrying off to new networks where they have to relearn how to interact with others, we can only say: All of this has happened before. All of this will happen again...
In 1980, the Post-Time Shifter, tormented by future visions of Eternal September, tried to prevent it happening it by shifting the world decades into the future.