I have become disillusioned with the state of social media. At one time it was a fun way to connect with people I would otherwise not a have a chance to meet and talk about topics of mutual interest. Now it is largely a breeding ground for tribalism, intolerance, and general meanness. This is making me question why I would want to continue participating in this ecosystem.
Over the past several months I have noticed a rapid decline in the signal/noise ration on Mastodon. It seems larger numbers of users from more mainstream social media platforms have been joining instances in the Fediverse and bringing the same sort of drama with them. For those old enough to remember, way back in 2007 or so, Twitter was a pretty cool place full of interesting people having interesting discussions. A far cry from the eternal tire fire that it has become. Unfortunately it seems the broader Fediverse is headed down the same path to ruin.
There are still some cool people doing cool things in the Fediverse, but they are gradually being drowned out by all the ill-conceived political hot-takes, bad-faith trolling, and other anti-social behavior. The big question I am trying to answer for myself, is whether or not it’s worth the effort to try and filter out/mute/block the bad actors, or if it is time to cut my losses and delete another account. I am beginning to think it’s just not worth the time and energy to sift through the garbage and attempt to filter it out.
I do want to call out the instance where I have my Mastodon account, Fosstodon. They admins have done an admirable job of building a friendly community and doing their best to keep it that way. My complaints with the broader Fediverse aren’t targeted at Fosstodon, and I would recommend it as a great instance to join if you are into Free and Open Source Software. The community at Fosstodon is only reason I haven’t deleted my account already.
I will continue to monitor my Mastodon account over the next week and see if the work I have to put into filtering out garbage content results in a positive return on investment of my time. That will ultimately determine whether or not I stick around.