Hot take on Bluesky

@siin My 2nd time opening the app, the first 3 posts were a bunch of thirsty dudes trying to get some thirst trap avatar using user to send noodz.

Nah, I’m good— I’ll stay in the well-hydrated zone over here.

Siin ( (Pagan+)

I’ve been on BlueSky for 10 minutes and… (An Essay)

I get it now. I used to be like “Why can’t people just stop using Twitter/Instagram/WhateverTheFuck? If they need social media, why can’t they just use Mastodon? Why doesn’t Pixelfed get more users? It’s literally the same UI”.

But I get it. I’ve been on BlueSky for what? 10 minutes? And I can feel my brain chemistry changing. Mastodon is a coffee shop. It doles out caffeine. You still get the little dopamine hit when you get notifications, you get that kind of substitute for human interaction that feels nice. But Twitter and BlueSky and Instagram and these apps from companies with access to inordinate amounts of data to build algorithms designed by psychologists to literally be As Addicting as Possible? These apps are dealing meth. But they’ve pressed it like ecstasy and made it cute. They’ve made it socially acceptable. But let me tell you something.

Ever since I logged onto BlueSky, I’ve been thinking about it. I don’t *think* about Mastodon all day. “Oh my god what should I post next? What will get me followers? Would this be funny? Is this on brand?” I don’t think about it. I come here because I have interactions with people without the pretext that they’re engaging with me to get engagement in return. Because sometimes in my life I feel isolated and because this substitute for human interaction feels nice.

I thought I’d get BlueSky (despite their horrifying privacy policy – more on that later) because there are some Things Going On that make me need to get a little more serious about making money. But fuck, if this is the only way? I’m taking a vow of poverty, or getting a day job.

Because then there’s their privacy policy. Access to websites you visit before and after, identifying information about your device, purchases you make, and it goes on. But even that level of invasive access should give us pause, right? I have a lot of things set up on my computer that mitigate *some* of that access, but then let’s think about how we give the app access to our photos and videos (all of them, not just what we post in the moment), our device’s camera and microphone (not just while we’re using it) and so on. And then think about how our society grooms us to believe (and maybe in some circumstances this belief is true) that we *need* these sites for access, for engagement, to make money.

The price of not working in a warehouse is every piece of information we can reasonably gather about you to use and sell however we please, for whatever purpose, indefinitely, and it never expires and we don’t pay you for it.

This *is* exploitation and my ancestry makes me pause, horrified, at what this information *will* eventually come back and do to us when inevitably the wrong person/group gets ahold of it. And that’s pretending like we even know who has our data and what they’re doing with it, right? Because we don’t know. We really don’t. Call me paranoid, say that I shouldn’t worry if I have nothing to hide, give me all of the excuses you’ve been programmed to give about why we *should not* worry about a surveillance state that *we* pay for. Then come online and rant about how dangerous governments are and fail to see the irony in it all.

And I’m a hypocrite. I bought in, too. For personal gain. After criticizing others for years for doing the same thing. It’s true. But the interesting side effect is that I’ve gained so much insight into why we’re so addicted to sensationalism, why we’re so addicted to these sites, why we’re so unwell in general. The kinds of things my feed is inundated with, especially since I haven’t curated it yet and it’s showing me what it wants to? My god. We cannot have a healthy society when this is what we’re consuming all day every day. There is no way to be a healthy person, I believe, when consuming this all day every day.

So anyways. As always, perhaps a bit sanctimonious. But I’m a little dumbfounded at the experience of all of this after years off of corporate social.


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