I’m still struggling to unlearn the habits I’ve built up over 20+ years of being on social media. There’s that weird mix of performativity and anticipatory defensiveness that both serve to color and mute my voice and diminish my thoughts here. I’d like to revisit that. What are the things I’ve forgotten how to say on the internet?

@anildash probably “I was wrong.” Social media has conditioned a lack of accountability, while rewarding the loudest voices. Humility is a concept we all need to revisit.

@jonhelmkamp @anildash I love the phrase "I stand corrected" because it means I haven't fallen over again

@mazdam @anildash

Related: "I don't know what I think. I'll look into it more and get back to you."

@anildash fwiw something I think you've been a consistently good model of--but that seems even easier here on Mastodon--is an unironic "yeah that's cool!"

@timthulson @anildash I was going to say that but couldn't put into a simple sentence.
Cool wording

@timthulson that’s one of the reasons I always put “big fan of being a big fan of things” in my bio; earnest enthusiasm (and its close cousin, sincere celebration of good things) is a powerful practice, and can be a superpower in fighting for what’s right. And people are often uncomfortable or reluctant to embrace that practice.

@anildash @timthulson this has long been one of my favorite things about your online presence. Thanks for sharing your joy so generously!

@anildash @timthulson I understand and sympathize. It's always easier to sneer to friends about how someone else's baby looks ugly, than to have and raise the baby oneself and suffer the joys and pains of that commitment, so to speak. But if that example's a bit old-fashioned, it may at least suggest that this challenge predates social media.

@anildash @timthulson it’s reminding me of the task I was given as a depressed and lonely new NYC resident that I assign to new New Yorkers:

Find something beautiful and weird or an odd juxtaposition every day. If you’re having an extra hard time, do it twice a day. If you have a camera, shoot it, or just collect it in your head.

If the basic guardrails to force people to be respectful of and treat other people like human being are there, this could be a place for those special little things.

I’m curious about new things.


"Find something beautiful and weird or an odd juxtaposition every day."

Love this. Thank you for putting this out into the #fediverse, Maureen. 🙂

@stephenanfield It's very helpful on a bleak day. If I know somebody is really struggling, I ask them to text me a pic every day and I get to do the same. It always wanes after a few days, but we both benefit.

@anildash @timthulson Feels like such an utter waste to approach things with a “bet this sucks” attitude. Comes from insecurity, needing a crutch of criticism to feel superior or clever. But you miss out on so much.

@anildash @timthulson Once I was enthusing about us maybe finding life under the ice of Europa, and this lady said “once as a teen I lay on a field and looked at the stars an wondered about them—but you know, I’m an adult now, hahaha” and it was just the saddest thing ever.


I suspect you'll never regain your earlier voice; if for no other reason, then because the optimism of the '90s was beat out of all of us.

@anildash The question I've been asking is how the forced character limit changed my behavior about what I could and couldn't include in my posts.

@anildash I’ve been thinking about how my default on Birdsite is snarky, reactive and annoyed. I’m thinking about the same things here. Maybe I’ll drop the defensive posture, listen, and enjoy people again?

@anildash bring back the mango talk. All mangos, all the time.

@anildash I don't know if this helps at all, but your episode on the eff podcast was lovely! Since I listened to it it's always been first to come to mind whenever anyone idly speaks ill of the internet. There's real magic here!

@anildash this exactly! You’re articulating something I’ve felt all week

@sarah_edo @anildash I keep thinking back to the era when my online presence and identity was about having conversations in (mostly) topical forums/newsgroups.

The experience wasn’t focused on “all of <person>‘s posts in one place”, it was the collective of all comments added on a given thread.

Also I may have kicked off topics/threads, but that’s it, it was just the start - the real value of the experience was in the entity of the entire thread, with comments from many people.

@Kclemson @sarah_edo @anildash I never get tired of quoting Marc Smith ex MSR about social ecosystems with reply magnets and vandal hunters

@anildash I’ve admired your style on the #birdsite and appreciate the thoughtful approach..
Maybe [for all of us] bringing back more of a conversational style, asking questions to clarify or understand, less reacting to the news and more engaging with a topic ..
Relaxing and having fun ..

@anildash expecting dozens of replies and likes for any content. Slow social media can help detox and free mental space.

@anildash I haven't seen you talk about Mario Kart in a long time.

hearing this is so encouraging, thanks for saying it.

@anildash I love that you shared this! Looking forward to seeing the full you on here.


Do you talk about "performativity and anticipatory defensiveness that both serve to color and mute your voice" on a conversation with close friends?

If no, why not start by dropping that?

@anildash This. I think birdsite could have used more humility, accountability and less reacitivty. That said, your online presence from what I’ve observed seems to have tried balancing these well.

Need to relearn. And you are not alone Anil. It’s a medium where your voice depends on others as well.

What is the forgotten thing? I think maybe it's how to say "I see you" and "I care about you" - without being weird about it ;)

@anildash What a wonderful question! What I have enjoyed about Mastadon so far is that no algorithm amplifies your voice. It allows you to engage in authentic conversation with people who want to engage in the same topic. My advice. Be authentic. Engage with those who are doing the same. I look forward to your posts.

@anildash one of the biggest shifts is engaging in a positive manner. Saying “Hi, I’m Anil! I find this fascinating, what are your thoughts on [related]?” instead of just consuming/smashing Like. If we only reserve replies for debate or hostility, then we end up with things like being ratioed.

@anildash something I have to constantly fight against is tweet-sized thinking. Some thoughts need more space!

@anildash Talk to people, don't talk with others about them?

@anildash Great observation - I hadn't thought of it as "performativity and anticipatory defensiveness" but I think that's a great description of what we have all been doing.

@anildash “anticipatory defensiveness” is such a good way to put it. Though I think I felt that even back in the day of writing blog posts with comments left open. It often held me back from making stronger statements that I knew might be attacked or torn down.

@stopdesign yeah, and even for me (because admittedly I am at one end of the continuum in my appetite for combatativeness), the tedium of having to enumerate all the caveats and disclaimers before making a point also sucks a lot of joy out of it

@anildash perhaps also ask: what have we forgotten to not say? Have we forgotten to refrain from snark, from sarcasm and from assuming the worst of others and responding accordingly?

@anildash Working on that and the flip side of that over here - what are the things I don't need to say?

form what i've seen, as an old french user (but not so much), it feels like you (an others) have to get rid of an awuful idea twitter tells everyone : you are not THIS important..

and it's cool 😁

@anildash I feel some of this too. Having started with my own blog "software" (a weird Access database and HTML combo), back some 20 years ago and writing freely on it, I now seem to be in a kind of constant low-level censoring mode on every social media platform that has made the technical side of publishing one's thoughts instantaneous.

@anildash I absolutely get this. I am trying to get out of my routine of publicly sharing my spam mails with everyone and complaining about them.

Seriously though this is a good spot for a reset

@ernie @anildash I'm spending a lot of time ... watching. I get on here a lot but haven't posted much, because I want to see how the etiquette evolves before I get prolific.

@dsilverman @ernie @anildash same for me. I’m really enjoying reading, running into new interesting people to follow, and not worrying about establishing a presence.

@anildash On other social media sites, "Don't read the comments is good advice." Some have become publishers instead of interacting with comments.

@anildash I've been having this exact same thought today. On Twitter, everything is about hustle, boosting your "brand", and beating the algorithm. Here there's none of that. Just pure thoughts floating out into the ether.

@anildash I love this feeling! Reminds me of when all the stupid money fled the Internet in 2001 and blogs were born back in the land of first principles

@anildash oh, how we remember those days. Thank you for this! (First home page, January 1994, dissertation 1998, first blog, Radio UserLand, 2000)

@ChrisBoese @anildash
Okay I just replied to this original one talking of blogging, too. Is it time to use a hasttag for #blogging or #oldschoolblogging?

@susankitchens @ChrisBoese @anildash Despite being on the birdsite and other social media sites, I still maintain a blog. Old habits don't die.

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