Tag Archives: mastodon

Erin Kissane:

I—a nerd—actually really like Mastodon most of the time, but I would like it so much more and feel like it was doing a lot more good in the world if it were more welcoming and easier to use. When I raise these points on Mastodon, I get a steady stream of replies telling me that everything I’m whining about is actually great, that valuing a “pleasant UI” over the abstraction of federation is shallow and disqualifying, and that that people who find Mastodon difficult don’t belong anyway, so I should “go join Spoutible” or whatever.

And of course this stuff shows up in much worse ways for at least some Black and brown people on Mastodon.

I hate it that I can’t in good conscience encourage Black friends to get on Mastodon, because I know they’re going to be continuously chided by white people if they mention race or criticize anything at all about Mastodon itself. I hate that “a difficult sign-up process keeps out lazy people with bad culture” is a thing in so many Mastodon conversations. (Fun fact, if you hold this idea up to your ear, you can hear them say “sheeple.”)

I feel like Mastodon is a return to the internet of the 2000s, both for good and bad. It’s decentralised, and not owned by a billionaire whose sole metric is “engagement”. But also its interpersonal frictions are like being on Livejournal as a teenager with mods constantly sub-tooting their ongoing dramas and it’s exhausting keeping up with it all. Worse is the old guard of Mastodon who refuse to see the problems with their platforms. I had hoped that the influx of genpop using it in a non-standard way would reluctantly drag the platform into addressing some of its problems (e.g. grassroots quote-toots, even if the software doesn’t actually offer that functionality) but I really don’t know if that’s actually going to happen now.


The Fail Whale Cascade

I’m on Mastodon, but I’m bored of what I call “the timeline era”. Scanning an unending stream of disconnected posts for topics of interest is no longer fun, I prefer deciding what to read based on titles, or topic-based discussion.

I’ve enjoyed the freshness of Mastodon. I really liked starting with a blank slate on a smaller social network. But as things have gotten bigger there, I’m finding Mastodon is starting to exhaust me just like Twitter used to. I guess I just don’t have the energy to stay connected to the firehose of the unconnected thoughts of strangers.


A year of new avenues

I want to insist on an amateur internet; a garage internet; a public library internet; a kitchen table internet. At last, in 2023, I want to tell the tech CEOs and venture capitalists: pipe down. Buzz off. Go fave each other’s tweets.

With the implosion of Twitter and the move towards Mastodon and the federated web, the internet of late 2022 is feeling more and more like the internet of 2002: Ours.