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My idea of fun

I can’t tell if you should be having fun, or whether I’m actually having fun.

There was a time, I think, when “being on” social media was “fun”, but that was before doomscrolling, doxxing, personal branding, grifting, Donald Trump and modern-day nazis. After that, one could be amused online in a decadent, Nero-fiddling-while-Rome-burns way, but rarely could we say, hand on heart, that we were having much good old-fashioned “fun”.

In the fediverse our experience of social media is less relatable. While the same memes pass around Mastodon instances, and some of the faces are the same, the flow and discoverability of information is more opaque. If I follow a hashtag on fosstodon.org I won’t end up seeing the same list of things you would on, say, mastodon.scot.

So I don’t know if you should be having fun.

I do know that my idea of fun on social media would probably involve a server run by someone you know from the blogosphere or a co-operative, rather than a member of the tech überclass. As a consequence, there might be some earnest-seeming talk about what this means, how it’s built and how it all fits together, which you could more or less characterise as “wholesome”, or probably less charitably. I say “some”. In truth, very little of my fediverse feels like that, and I guess I could, theoretically, one day at least – who knows? – have fun there.