I'm on the Fediverse!
and I have ideas for it. Well, they are more like opinions, really.
I recently launched a GotoSocial instance to join the Fediverse. I was very apprehensive about re-joining the social media because I struggled with Social media addition from middle school through high school. It was toxic, I found myself spending irrationally long amounts of time on it. So starting 2018, I began to slowly reduce and delete my accounts on all the services that I used at that time. It took a lot of effort but I finally did it: to me, social networking after that meant ringing up a friend or meeting them IRL.
Again, very apprehensive. I appreciate that technology connects people from across the world. I met a lot of kind, interesting, and generally nice people from around the world on the Internet even after I quit social media.
These people are usually from forums, chartrooms, and emails — all platforms that take effort to participate in. One has to be thoughtful and articulate their communications to engage in such platforms. But the social media is a cheat code: all one has to do is come up with a witty remark or a clever comeback to have a good time on there!
I had to join the Fediverse since I'm working on ForgeFlux, a project that is based on the methods and technology that powers the Fediverse to make software development collaboration tools better represent real world scenarios — essentially using social media tech to make the programming social media.
And so the GotoSocial instance.
First Impressions: It is different!
My biggest concern with modern tech is being unmindful during the time I spend with it. In this regard, GotoSocial is very refreshing. GotoSocial doesn't show posts that are older than your account(it's either that or my instance is misconfigured). Also, it doesn't have recommendations widgets. Which is nice. I mostly followed people that I already knew from other channels and follow people that my following interact with and interest me — closely mimicking meeting new folks IRL.
But I am still concerned
While I'm temporarily shielded from the effects of social media because I'm new on there, I can see how following large amounts of people would snowball into creating a very lengthy, frequently updating feed. I hope social media creators recognize that they are building tools to help people catch up with their friends and not necessarily helping them being constantly on top of what's happening in their friends' lives.
One would say that frequent updates will help information reach people in a timely fashion but that isn't entirely accurate: if there was an emergency, I would be making a phone call or use some other means of highly real-time technology that requires absolute engagement from all involved parties than post on social media and hope that it reaches and grabs the attention of all concerned parties in a timely fashion.
So I propose feed updates only be made in fixed durations. By updates, I refer to downloading the posts created by the people I follow and uploading my newly created posts to other people's feeds. This way, we will only be catching up with each other rather than anxiously scrolling and constantly refreshing for new updates.