The fate of social media

I realized that I have pretty much abandoned Mastodon. That’s the non-commercial social media site that has been touted as a replacement for Twitter, after Elon Musk took over Twitter and turned it into a cesspool of hate speech. Not that I adopted Mastodon as a replacement for Twitter. I just wanted to find a social media site where I could meet some new people, and have some two-way (or n-way) online conversations.

I abandoned Mastodon because it wasn’t fun any more. It was flooded by self-proclaimed Twitter refugees, whose main goal in life seemed to be to have as many followers as possible — either that, or the goal was to follow those with thousands of followers. Mastodon was becoming dominated people who specialized in polemics, or in responses to polemics.

To put it another way: Mastodon was turning into Twitter — or turning into Facebook. Lots of rage porn and anger memes. Lots of chastising others for their inadequacies. Mind you, these sites can work fairly well if you want to communicate with people you already know, or if you want to plug into an already existing community, or if you want to be a simple consumer of what other people say.

Not that I made a conscious decision to abandon Mastodon. One day, I just didn’t use the site. It felt good to not use the site. So I didn’t use the site the next day. Or the next day, or any succeeding day. I feel a bit sad, because I think Mastodon has been designed well. But perhaps that is now the fate of all social media: to descend into a toxic mix of rage porn, anger memes, and chastising others for their inadequacies.

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