Herr Bischoff

Social Media Person

The last couple of days have shown me that I’m not a social media person. I’m no longer a forum person either. There are too many weird people with exaggerated egos around that inexplicably believe that everyone is interested in what they have to say. The general rule of moving past without feeling the uncontrollable urge to respond appears to be lost to the embers of time. That’s why I never liked and got into Twitter: it amplifies and even rewards this personality flaw.

In a way, Mastodon is great for this, with its muting and blocking features. On the downside, running a solo instance is a lonely place. You don’t get to see many of the hash-tagged posts you may be interested in without subscribing to hundreds of people, which floods your home timeline. Like Twitter with 240 characters, 500 characters are too little to convey any meaningful nuance without breaking out into a thread. The best strategy to approach this may be to write beforehand and split into paragraphs at 500 characters each. I don’t know.

There’s a dynamic there that’s hard to describe. I’ve never been a part of a larger community to any degree that mattered in my adult life. I’ve never been a public person and don’t see myself becoming one any time soon. I watch the flood of information pass me by, at times compelled to partake, yet with a strangely overwhelming feeling. I don’t like to deal with a large number of people. I’ve never been part of a herd. I’ve never been a leader either.

Dealing with weird, entitled people is draining. I’m much more interested in exchanging ideas and connect with humans on a fundamental level. It’s surprisingly hard to do with many and surprisingly easy at a small scale.

What to take away from this? I’m likely to record more of my thoughts on my blog and less on places like Mastodon. It appears to me as a useful place to ask a specific question that’s looking for an answer, not to have a protracted discussion. The federation model is flawed for all but the most popular users. But at least it’s organic, open and you should be able to find a community with shared interests when you look for it. In this regard it’s similar to a federated forum, but ephemeral. All information may disappear at any time.

Looking at it from that particular angle, it’s the perfect medium for today’s internet. There has never been a time in human development where this much information was available. There has also never been one where so little is going to survive into the next age. If this is going to be boon or bane cannot be known from where we stand today.