In order to be able to fully comprehend the nature of post-modernism, one must, first and foremost, understand the cultural tendencies behind its genesis. Appeal to meta, inter- and pantextualism, avid usage of (post-)irony and reminiscence, conceptualisation of space and other structural devices which Post-Modernism is notorious for, though important, still remain optional and far from omnipresent. In essence, they all were products of a need to find new ways of artistic expression of the core concept of Post-Modernism as a whole – the concept of deconstruction. It came around as a reaction of post-WWII artists to the grand narratives of Modernism, namely Communism and Fascism, which were attempting to revaluate and reconstruct the then-contemporray status quo, i.e. the dominance of bourgeois values in all spheres of human life. At the time, almost all cultural figures which bore any major significance were radicalized in favor of one side or another. However, since both narratives failed to succeed in the little time they were given and, furthermore, resulted in massive massacres, the following generation of artists rejected the aforementioned narratives firts, and then all attempts to manifest any original and daring idea in art in general, which was possible thanks to reductionist hermeneutics, ironically inspired by Modernist philosophers, and its precise devariation – Deconstructivism. It aimed directly at the prime cause, whatever it might be, of the outspoken and then epicly BTFOed the former via some mental machinations. This applies to every stance on anything that is deemed imporatnt, leading to a disproportional presence of play element, focus on unnecesary details and parody in Post-Modern literary works. Certainly, there is much more to it, but for the sake of brevity and conciseness, for now I will restrict myself to just this general observation.
Knowing this, one may easily realize that there are a lot of similar tendencies in most 4chan’s users posting style. Currently wide-spread shitposting and indulging in post-irony are the most common instances that immediately come to mind, but, in fact, there had been older examples throughout the whole history of 4chan as well. The deconstruction of any narrative that tries to be serious can be traced back to the time when people composed the Rules of /b/, and even though the old userbase of 4chan was definitely more sincere than the modern one, people would still frequently mock all kinds of things and values, especially those that are upheld by modern society (for one, CP used to be much more common), because even then the core userbase was made up of edgy teens and social rejects. And although as the time went on, 4chan acquired a more ideology-based, biased, at times even moralfag-ish attitude, (much like the rest of the Internet) it could never prevail 4chan’s “nothing’s sacred” roots. The more srs bznz 4chan became, the more intense shitposting (which historically was shunned) got, even to such an extent that now the shitposting-sincerity dichotomy managed to be accepted by a large part of 4cahn’s userbase, and the quality of a board is judged by its alignment to either of the sides, and is considered higher the more extreme it is, again, with pertaining to either of both opposing characteristics. And, just like deconstruction found its way of expression in Post-Modernism via certain structural and artistic devices, so did it on 4chan. First of all, anonymity, one of the main attractions of the site, allows users to interpret each other’s posts freely in the same fashion as Bart’s concept of author’s death allows philologists to interpret texts without paying any attention to the author’s original intentions, which smears the borders of perception of seriousness and makes 4chan users constantly wonder if the person they are replying to isn’t a mere troll.
Moreover, in case of 4chan anonymity is polyfunctional, as besides making free interpretation possible it also lets users post without having to worry about their public image, which leads us to the problem of process of socialization on 4chan. As has been mentioned, socialization on 4chan doesn’t happen through direct interaction since all users excluding name- and tripfaggots are depersonalized, but rather through fitting in a cultural environment. The difference between cultural assimilation irl and on 4chan is that in the case of the former one must demonstrate their acceptance of particular norms and values, whereas in the case of the latter one can simply express some sort of cultural code, knowledge of which highlights their belonging to the community of 4chan. And this cultural code, also aka as irrelevant catchphrases or copypasta and maymays, additionally executes the same function as reminiscence and repetitiveness in Post-Modern novels. A lot of users prefer to just reply to a post with “sex with X” or “cope” or with an old ass pasta rather than composing a reply that expresses poster’s thoughts in an original way, resulting in the cycle of semantic deconstructions of some aspects of the cultural code (for instance, “based” was initially used in the same way as Lil B had intended, then – with the focus on the uncaringness, and right now many people just use it as an equivalent of upvote). And memes in particular also bear the function similar to intertextualism, because unlike simple catchphrases, acceptance and meaning of which may vary from board to board, memes are usually more universal within the confines of the board they are recocgnised on and are used to make references to particular events, people and other important cultural staples. Though it would be unfair to deny them any semantic fluidity at all, the aspect of being a reference still remains unchanged. It is also worth mentioning that due to the nature of 4chan, memes, pastas and other fads are supposed to be comical, and in a combination with them being an essential part of a conversation on 4chan, they encourage carnivalesque element as well as resentment of seriousness even further. People start to view even things they like through the prism of memeing (see: madoka fandom baiting ACK and making all the meguca memes, or /lit/ memeing Stirner), which, secures the dominance of post-irony. In fact, almost all things 4chan users do can be reduced to being post-ironic. Even faggot greentexts on /r9k/ or schizo rambles on /pol/ may be viewed as parodies of themselves at this point. Finally, meta narrative is present too, in the form of an existing meta board, which still remains one even in spite of some groups of users trying to change this fact, and crossborder memes.