The other day I was talking with someone about being GenX. We have converted from vinyl to cassettes to CDs to mp3s to streaming services for music. For film, we gone from only in the theater to betamax to VHS to DVDs to mp4s to digital streaming libraries. For books and for phones, it’s a similar situation–the only real constant for us has been change.
The same is true of social media–and we’re seeing yet another mass migration with the downfall of Twitter. A significant portion of the folks I know online have, as a result of Elon Musk seemingly intentionally destroying Twitter, moved to Mastodon. I count myself amongst those migrating. If you’re on Mastodon, please do find me–my username is @nicolewolverton, and I’m on the @zirk.us server.
The writing community is a funny place. I kind of feel like you have to be where the readers are–and so Mastodon would be an easy decision. Some are retreating to their own websites/newsletters in hopes that they have a large enough audience that those who are interested will have a lifeline. Others are going to Instagram–and I get that, although it seems like Insta runs a similar risk to Twitter, considering Mark Zuckerberg is laying off a zillion people at Meta right now. Granted, while Zuckerberg is happy to assist bots and political manipulators, he doesn’t seem quite as eager to destroy his own product.
Despite Mastodon seeming to be a default place to land during The Great Twittering of 2022, for me it has been a superior experience: I really like how easy it is to engage with people, not to mention there’s no algorithm dictating to you what you see. Overall, the transition has been a smooth one, and I’m not bothered by there being a little bit of a learning curve to understand how Mastodon and greater Fediverse works. But maybe that’s because–again–change has been the only constant for me and my peers. The need for flexibility has always been part of life. Divorcing parents. Changing music popularity. Changing cultural values. Constant economic collapses. Maybe not all of us, but I just … go with it and make the most of the situation.
Because in another five years or so, everything will (probably) change again.