I am seeing a Take lately that is basically “the problem is people putting too much emotional investment into their online life.”
I just want to point out that, for some people, online communities are the place where they can actually find other people who are like them.
For example, If you are queer and live outside of a major city, it can be rather difficult to find a community of other queer people, in person.
There is nothing wrong or unhealthy about finding that community digitally.
@AudreyJune how do I boost multiple times
@AudreyJune The border between the real and the virtual disappeared when the first hacker was visited by the police.
@AudreyJune to add on to this is the faulty premise of IRL vs online, where somehow online is a different world from the "real" world and therefore less important or whatever
Excellent point. That premise has always been bullshit and a shield held by those who engage in toxic and abusive behavior.
@AudreyJune I'm sure there are also many people like me, for whom leaving the house is not an option or is difficult. I don't have any "IRL" friends anymore, they're all online.
(Not to downplay in any way those that have finally found a community where they feel at home, I think that's absolutely awesome)
@AudreyJune online interaction is not sufficient imo. Better than nothing.. Probably a good idea to meet up in real life, assuming you're not going to get mugged or anything..
(I, for one live in the Netherlands frequently around Eindhoven/Utrecht)
You can't assume safety or accessibility though, especially not if you're a woman or LGBTQ+ or a POC or neurodivergent or disabled or poor, etc.
Plus if I limited myself to interacting with people I could reasonably meet IRL, I'd miss out on so much!
I can't show up for friends who aren't local, but I'm online in the wee hours and can support them through a tough time til the people who can be there in person are awake. I'm not taking away from their network - I'm adding to it.
Also, for some people, in person events aren't always safe &/or accessible anyway.
I don't think we should do away with in-person community! I just don't want online community to be devalued.
@AudreyJune I grew up in an area where people at all were hard to come by. I talked to people on IRC because they were better conversationalists than the nearby herd of dairy cows.
@AudreyJune When I was younger, my online friends saved my life. No exaggeration.
@AudreyJune fucking. nailed. it.
Thats exactly why i've been an internet junkie since the early'ish/mid 90's because i found weirdos just as into computers as me. Locally? nearly non existant.
its been a journey ever since, and i regret nothing.
@AudreyJune I met my girlfriend online years ago just on forums and stuff. Most of my "IRL" friends I've met through similar means. For so many of us, our online social lives ARE our social lives.
@ravennoises @AudreyJune Likewise! Indeed, I even fell in love over the net, ℅ MU*s, and only /then/ met IRL. ^_^ (Only wound up lasting a couple years, but mostly a profoundly warming and rewarding time) MU*s, LJ, SLU, here.. what some might see as just somebody glued to their phone is likely to be them enjoying another moment with friends. And that's a Good Thing™.
@AudreyJune i agree with you. i am
- someone who has found my only real community online (being queer, socially handicapped, from a bedroom community, )
- someone who frequently posts takes critical of online / offline balance and especially pubsub social media like fedi
this doesn't come from a place of condescension for people who find community online. opposite, it comes from my OWN experience of feeling so fucking lonely and having trad online life only worsen it
@AudreyJune what ive found for me is that fedi still replicates the pubsub model /corporations/ invented to keep people engaged and addicted without necessarily feeling fulfilled. this has happened to me
i want to find an online life that is fulfilling rather than gratifying, and i have found /some/ ways to do so, and am exploring my way through this with online-critical takes
@cosine @AudreyJune I don't know if my priorities are different, or if I'm just wired different. I don't use masto as my primary social interaction online. Sure it feels good to get a Favorite or the rare boost. But most of my interaction with friends is done through mediums like Slack or Discord. I've got a couple of small communities I hang out in and we just as often leave each other messages as chat directly. That works for me, there's no pull to be engaging here. I can just be myself. YMMV.
@AudreyJune very much this. also, i seem to remember this whole ‘lol it’s just online, don’t take it serious’ thing as being a rather recent kind of thing. i always tied it to the flood of ‘normal’ people becoming regulars on the internet via the rise of facebook.
before, we did shitposting and trolling, too, of course, but i don’t remember anyone discrediting the online life as being something inherently worthless.
A cool and chill place for cool and chill people.