I wonder why the "last seen" stat is called like that:

If it is to show the last time you visited the site, then shouldn't it be called "last visit" or "last active"? For example, this answer says:

The "last seen" field is judging when you were last seen for a particular site.

The passive voice means that someone looks at you, not the last time you are active on the site.

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    "active" implies action. I don't think any actions are required for the "seen" time to be updated, so that wouldn't make sense. And, it could be "seen" from the point of view of the site, as it would be "seeing" requests from you. – Carcigenicate Mar 16 at 14:41

"Last seen" is the best interpretation on this case since SE "tracks" your presence while you are on the site.

"Last visited" might give a wrong interpretation that the user has stopped the current browsing season while they are actually still on the site (because the value is cached).

"Last active" means something different, and Stack Exchange actually distinguishes between "last seen" and "last activity" e.g. on the admin dashboard.


Just browsing the site doesn't count as being 'active' in my book.

'Last visit' would work, but the current wording can be interpreted as 'last seen by Stack Exchange's servers'. I don't see a reason to change it, as I don't think it leads to wrong interpretations right now.

  • I think interpreting it as 'last seen by Stack Exchange's servers' is a stretch. I think if I'm confused by the word, then someone else will too? – Ooker Mar 16 at 14:49
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    That doesn't make the cause of the confusion an unreasonable thing to do. Sometimes people are confused by things that just aren't a problem. – Nij Mar 16 at 21:17
  • @Nij I'm not sure what your first sentence means. Can you rephrase it? – Ooker Mar 17 at 8:41
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    You're confused by Stack Exchange doing something, in a particular way. Your confusion doesn't make that thing, or that way, unreasonable or in need of change. – Nij Mar 17 at 8:50

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