Crumbling Mastodon: Fanning the Flames of Discontent vs. Bringing Communities Together
Hi. Most would classify me as a white male. This means a variety of things, depending on who you are and your background. We categorize things to make sense of them. This is how our human brain works. By the way, that's my favorite classification for myself— human. Haven't we seen enough science fiction to understand that the only way to defeat the aliens is to come together under the banner of humans? Of course, the assumption there is that the aliens need defeating. Instead, maybe we need to change the banner to sentient beings? The Temptations and Edwin Starr had it right back in 1969 and 1970, “War. What is it good for? Absolutely Nothing.”
The Daily Dot article, “Mastodon is crumbling” asks you to choose sides over at Mastodon. Perhaps that is a strong statement. Maybe I should say Ana Valens presents two sides to readers. Furthermore, in the article Eugen Rochko is seen putting users on opposing sides. Here we have two perspectives from two different people. Their categorization of the users is unique to their own context. Indeed, if I were to go further in implying Valens viewpoint is influenced by her status as a LGBTQ reporter or Eugen is affected by his whiteness, I am making assumptions. Even if either of them were to concede to my implications or explain their perspective in quoted detail it doesn't matter. Myself, and you, dear reader, will form our own opinions about them. Using our own lenses, our context, we will make our own judgments. You've most likely formed an opinion of me before finishing the title above. If not, you may have after the second sentence when I declared that I am a white male. My privilege in a world that favors white men means I cannot begin to speak to your feelings or experiences. You're right, but it's not entirely because of my skin color. We're individuals. I will never be able to feel what you've felt as you lived your life. Yes, I'm glossing over the fact that the world favors my hairy white ass. My struggle in this life is different than yours, but that doesn't make it less painful.
The floor I'm dancing around on is this— pain. My pain may be self-inflicted while yours is societal. Pain, it sucks. It really sucks, a lot. In general, we both have pain. I wish we could come together in this common understanding, rather than categorizing by sexual preference, color, or preference for upgrades to an open source project like Mastodon.
Perhaps we need to stop comparing Mastodon to Twitter. Again, our experiences on Twitter were different. The interesting thing about Mastodon is that we can make our own communities and still connect with those who we interact with and respect within different communities. Instead of spending time pointing fingers, choosing sides and building fences around our communities we can remember that each of us experiences pain. Politics isn't the answer, compassion is.
The internet is often praised for speed, instant communication. We use things people said online to crucify them. We talk of futures we fear or delight in, but it is all in the past. The internet is far from instant. People change every moment. We have to stop condemning each other. I'm not against debate, but remember we're all suffering and the below each side of an argument is someone suffering.