Feeling Weird on Mastodon (A Ramble)
I get a little self-conscious on Mastodon. The fediverse feels like high school. Except the people are actually really fucking smart and actually cool. I feel weird being myself: A young adult, cis-gendered female of color. The fediverse isn't an oppressive place, but it is one of those places where it can feel like if you're not the norm you're not welcome as much as those who are the norm.
I come across people on the fediverse who, for lack of a better phrase, just attract people. These people seem to and incite people to respond. I don't believe I incite such a response, or at least I haven't yet. I know (mostly) at the end of the day I'm a decent person and if people don't interact with me it doesn't mean that I am an alien invader freakshow.
And then I see people who toot and don't give a shit. But that just feels sad to me. To just put things out into the void for everyone to see but create zero interaction. So I don't mind tooting, but I feel sad in a way not interacting with others. And I guess the fediverse is not as small as I'd like to think. It is a lot smaller than Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, but it's expanding every day. So in my mind, it makes sense if no one sees and engages with you on those larger platforms. But I suppose I should just wipe that mindset and not expect much, if any, interaction on the fediverse.
I feel like a child too at some moments. Everyone has an opinion on capitalism, philosophy, topics I’ve never even thought about. Some of it I can grasp and agree with, but some of it I can grasp but I don't want to blindly follow people face-first into principles and practices I know little about. No matter how cool and smart I think you are, I'm not going to blindly follow you or praise you for tailcoat clout. That's just how I am. And even though the fediverse isn't a groupthink machine — I often think of it as quite the opposite — I feel like the attitude of learning first with philosophies and politics is frowned upon. It feels like when you get on the fediverse, you must have an opinion on all these things. And if you don't people are not going to care about what you have to say because you are uninformed.
I know I have a lot to learn. We all have lots of shit to learn. But the fediverse, I guess what I'm trying to say, in the end, feels more like a place where people can have conversations rather than a place where people can learn a great deal and have conversations.
Learning does take place on Mastodon, I see it. But those moments are few and far between compared to those moments where people go back and forth debating and conversing on a seemingly equal level of understanding.