With my burnout continuing, I am going to write about something different this week. I am convinced that all social media is a race to the bottom.
Over the past few years, I have found myself being more and more repulsed by social media. It started shortly before the 2016 presidential election in the US with Twitter turning into a rolling dumpster fire of political nonsense. Small but very noisy factions from all sides spent their time yelling at each other and acting horribly to the point where they ruined the experience for everyone. Around the same time I decided I wanted to get off that train, and so I deleted my Twitter account.
Since then I’ve terminated most of my social media accounts, and now I only have a LinkedIn account I use as an online resume, and a Mastodon account on the Fosstodon instance. (I deleted my Facebook account back when they had their first big privacy scandal, so I’ve been out of that game for several years now)
What I have noticed over the past few years is that eventually all social networks seem to devolve into a cesspool of terrible behavior. Originally, LinkedIn was created as site for professional networking, and posts unrelated to that end were discouraged and sometimes moderated. Fast forward to today, and there is little difference between the typical users’ Facebook and LinkedIn profile. People are posting all sorts of garbage to LinkedIn, and anything useful and professional is being crowded out by all the noise. Hilariously, the much-vaunted algorithms compound the problem by amplifying the garbage.
Sadly, it already looks like the Fediverse, including Mastodon is well on its way to the same fate. Social media networks start off interesting as early adopters generally post useful information. It doesn’t take long though before the bottom feeders show up and start filling the space with scams, noise, and other detritus. While I had high hopes for the decentralized nature of Mastodon and other Fediverse systems, the federated timeline has already turned into a toxic mess. At this point I think it’s only a matter of time before I give up and delete my Fosstodon account too. On the internet, we can’t have nice things.
Still working on configuring my new email setup, if I feel like it.