Schmutz 6

#schmutz #mentalHealth #socialMedia #lurking #streamOfConsciousness

There has been a lot of talk about social media on social media lately given the self-implosion of Twitter and Reddit, launch of Meta’s micro-blogging platform, Threads, cloudy Bluesky moderation policies, and the Fediverse feeling both left out and defensively ready to counter the looming wave of Threads future federation.

So, as much as I would like to not care about any of that and live in my little gremlin cave like I do, I do like to lurk on social media. I didn’t start using Twitter until I was getting into tech but I learned a lot and found out about new things as they happened. I moved over to Mastodon in November 2022 when the first whisperings of Twitter’s new owner were spreading. I have since moved servers a few times and have landed on my own little self-hosted Calckey server. I like the idea of the Fediverse and the way one account can talk to multiple different softwares, however there are some issues I have with Calckey not properly federating with PeerTube, Lemmy, and probably others. But surely that will get hammered out and I’m open to contributing, but it’s hard to know where to start on a project like that. Maybe the new release has those features?

Anyway, I have never really liked social media in any of its forms. I started on AOL, IM’ing my friends in middle school. Some of us were lucky to have home computers with dial up internet. This might have been the peak for me honestly. After that things moved to MySpace and Facebook where I always felt bad for not getting any likes on my posts or whatever the hell. This still happens and it’s dumb that it makes me feel bad, but it does.

I have a long history of struggling with depression and anxiety including agoraphobia and I have always had trouble making connections with people, especially online. Outside of a small interaction here or there, I have no lasting connections that have been built online. I have always found it difficult to enter online communities and stay a part of them for very long.

This feels 10x worse on the Fediverse or at least the corner that I have found myself lurking in as I see so many people interacting all of the time and I am paralyzed to comment. So I continue to lurk and it’s fine I guess. I am still learning new things about people and their lives and hearing their takes on this or that. But I never feel comfortable sharing such things myself. Introvert is one way to describe it but it makes me feel quite broken. Part of this blog is to help me work through some of these things and “Just Post™️”, but I still get the feel-bads when my dumb posts on the Fediverse don’t get any hearts.

So if you see me on the Fediverse and you’re like “Wow, that person never interacts with my posts”, this is why. I hope you don’t mind me boosting and interacting via dumb emojis and favorites. This feels safe and comfortable to me. I will keep working on this and at some point maybe I won’t get so self-conscious leaving replies to your posts, but in the mean-time I’ll keep writing here and sharing to the void.

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