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Personal thoughts on the Fediverse and the nature of social media

There is no doubt that social media, especially the ones created and maintained by Big Tech, were by design made to keep you there like a prisoner, almost forcing you to consume whatever they want and get any type of reaction from you, be it anger, sadness, happiness, etc, because they profit from that (see: Frances Haugen). Among some of those platforms, there has been this rapid surge of the Fediverse, which is definitely a step in the right direction, in the sense that the profit factor simply doesn’t exist there, because by design you can’t run ads there.

But there’s much more to it than just the exploitative business practices popularized by Big Tech, and, in my opinion, it’s what most people try to ignore: the psychological consequences of social media.

For reference, I started using the Fediverse at around October 2022, and deleted my account at the beginning of January 2023.

A bit about me, because why not

I’m a very simple person: All I want is to make friends and maintain strong connections with them. I don’t want shallow forms of interaction where you don’t truly know the person you’re talking to (smalltalk sux). Personally, I’m the type of person that needs to really know people, otherwise I get in a weird limbo state where I’ve spoken to the person for weeks but still don’t know their likes and dislikes. As an analogy, it’s like when you’re chewing gum, and your stomach starts producing gastric acid, because it’s expecting you to swallow it just like every other food. Of course you don’t (…right?), but now your stomach has a bunch of gastric acid there doing nothing, which can give you a stomach ache.

With social interactions, it’s the same for me: you keep chewing and chewing, as in having sporadic smalltalks and sharing funny memes with people, but you never swallow, as in actually have a 1-to-1 conversation and get to know each other.

Now with the boring stuff out of the way…

Numbers! Updoots! Colors! 🤪💦!!!!

Okay, alright, I know the Fediverse doesn’t push your post to the top of timelines if you get tons of interactions from it, but the underlying nature of growing numbers and moving things (boost count, reply count, etc) fucks with your brain in crazy ways, to the point where you get addicted to it if you don’t limit yourself. You start expecting interactions to pop up in your notifications tab, and if nothing shows up, you feel like you did something wrong. And if you think about it for a second, it’s almost like a drug, that gives you dopamine and happiness and keeps you engaged in whatever, but once you leave it for a few minutes, you crash.

To give you some perspective, here’s what infinite scroll does to your brain. Spoiler alert: It has mostly the same neurological effects as gambling, or any addiction, while also possibly worsening any mental health issues you might have.

You can argue that that’s a worldwide issue, and you would be right. Everything is media and public-facing, and most people expect you to have a public image or public archive of yourself, which is such a stupid zoomer thing. You have to have a really strong mind to be able to safely parse the information you’re exposed to in the current century because of that.

Cancel culture is the same. Maybe even worse.

If you have been in Fediverse for a while, you might know the existence of the “fediblock” hashtag, where people post about problematic users or even whole instances, so people can take note of them, “problematic” meaning nazis, racists, homophobes, domestic terrorists, etc. In theory, it’s a really nice way of making minorities feel safe, right? Yes, yes indeed, but that’s just the theory. In practice, there is a small but growing and very vocal amount of users and instances that perpetuate the same problem that Twitter has: cancel culture and centralization.

Like I said in the beginning of this post, cancel culture started getting popular on Twitter, which has a very convenient feature where every post has a limit of 240 characters (used to be 120. lol), which is definitely not enough to reliably get your points across. But who cares? Most people will only read a single post and judge the OP based on that single post. Threads aren’t practical, because you have to click on the post to see it’s replies, and then you might see the whole picture of what the OP was saying. And even if they don’t take the time to stitch a bunch of posts together, that’s fine, because you can also reliably deduce what they are saying and judge them based on what you thought they were saying. Simple (sarcasm, of course)!

Moving on, the fediblock hashtag is known to be abused by some leftist instance admins to perpetuate cancel culture by targeting other leftist admins that have slightly different opinions and moral values than them. I have friends that are leftist instance admins themselves that were greatly impacted by this, and some of them had to give in to their bullshit, because it’s such a pain to fight back, and I don’t blame them. The canceldom pokes where it hurts the most by making false accusations and forcing everyone to comply to their orders. If you don’t, you’re a white supremacist, antiblack (i don’t know why they don’t use the word “racist” instead) transphobic fascist, and that’s just the beginning.

And, you know, sometimes they have good intentions, like actually wanting bad people out and striving for more accessiblity in the platform, but the way they actually do things just hinders the whole leftist movement behind. We need to be better than that, and that’s what I’m trying to do here. I want people to actually tolerate differences and learn how to agree to disagree. You can’t just force people to agree with you, because 1. That’s basically fascism; And 2. That’s not how discussions and debates work. Whether someone changes their opinion or not is beyond your control.

Literally every human being is different, that’s just a fact. If you leave your own damn head, pop your bubble and/or get out of your echo chamber for a minute, you will notice that.

But that’s just my utopia. “Humans being different” includes both decent and humble people, and stupid people that can’t or don’t want to see the bigger picture and the actual consequences of their actions. Oh well…

Final take

Consider having your own personal blog, built with a static website generator like Hugo or Pelican, no need to be fancy. I know he’s a real life meme, but Luke Smith has good videos on how to get started with Hugo. If you can’t host your blog yourself, use NeoCities. Also, please implement RSS and/or Atom feeds for your website, especially if it’s a blog. And don’t forget to have fun; Use some quirky and weird CSS theme, make cool posts about the tomatos you burnt while trying to make some ketchup (?), talk about your personal interests… Everything goes, really, because it’s your blog, and only you can touch it. I don’t care where you reside on the political spectrum, but we can all agree that having our own untouchable little space, be it online or offline, is very important compared to “microblogging” (such a stupid word made to make Twitter sound like a good idea…) with people you don’t like.

For readers that are currently in the Fediverse or using any type of social media: I don’t want to force you to leave (I can’t), but I do want you to consider more carefully your decision to stay there, and possibly limit your usage. It will improve your well-being. I don’t want to be that kind of person, but leaving fedi made me more productive and more optimistic about my goals. The withdrawal effects are real, yes, but you start to get used to it and occupy your head with better and healthier things.

If you work with social media… consider getting a different job, honestly. You deserve more than that.


I came back to fedi on july of this year, because I missed the people I met there. I still feel the same things towards the platform that I felt when I left in january. Nothing has changed, except the leftist infighting, that seems to have gone down a bit. I’m trying to adapt myself to it a bit more. We’ll see how it goes.

Update 2

it didn’t work lmao