Friday, November 01, 2019

Why social networks exist / off-worlding



Continuing thoughts on getting out of corporate Web 2.0. I could add the word "bullshit" there, but it feels too angry, but I could, for reasons below. This post otherwise tying into other long term thoughts on treatment of minorities, flow of capital, and clearing out life generally.

What am I on Twitter for? Why do I have as many contacts in there as I do (around 1600, both ways)? What am I getting out of it?

Don't get me wrong, I do love Twitter still. Or rather, I love some of the people on it. That's different. I've isolated myself from Twitter itself - I don't get notifications, try to use a third party app to avoid ads and weird timelines, and try to default to a list of people that I know. It works well for me, but I have to work to set that up.

But I've been on Mastodon/Gnusocial for years too, and have been getting some amazing interaction out of that recently. Random strangers, but random post, meditation sessions, chat via XMPP and self-hosted newsgroups - I mean newsgroups FFS. It's been weird what connections I've made, more raw, less "in it for the professionalism".

And I think that's it - there's a corporate bullshit wash that hangs over Twitter. There's a level of "respectability" required of its legal status, that discourages authenticity and rebellion. Basically it's a white dude making money.

Contrast to indieweb, which is about a bunch of people setting services up to hang out with weirdos like them. Like me.

I'm tired of services which make cash for white dudes. I'm still deeply integrated with Google, but that'll gradually change - is changeable. I'm not on the Facebook, hate LinkedIn, and Yahoo killed itself.

I'm going to scale back my Twitter. I'm not sure it best way of doing it - ideally I'd probably clear out and start again, based on my "know from real life" list and build outwards from there. (There are some great people who I still haven't met.) Have it for DMs and... I mean, Twitter is everywhere, geographically speaking. Mastodon has that "citizen of nowhere" badge proudly hung on it.

I feel kind of excited though - I'm in a place where slow comms feels doable and sensible, where I can start to look into intermittent networking more, get away from this always-on thing. It's not a healthy life we've evolved around us.



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