Social media is in such a state these days. Earlier this week, Bluesky announced they’re now letting folks sign up for their service without needing a referral code from an existing member. Apparently the sign up process includes having to give your mobile phone number so you can confirm your identity with an SMS message.
That should make privacy minded people a little nervous, but it’s become the norm with most everything online these days. Disheartening.
I have a couple of accounts on Bluesky that I don’t really use that much. One is for my tech and personal adventures, the other is for my storm chasing and aviation adventures. I use it as a stream of information more than anything, if I look at the platform at all. I don’t have it installed on any of my devices, opting to look through a web browser when I want to see what’s going on. I imagine I might use it a little more during storm chasing season later this spring. It’s good to know what’s going on with others when it comes to storm chasing.
Twitter continues to be a mess. I’ve maintained one account on the platform, again for aviation and storm chasing purposes. A vast majority of the people I followed in general life has fled from the platform. I keep my account purely for a data source and don’t really interact that much with anyone or even look at the platform with any sort of regularity. When I took a peek this morning the suggestions and recommendations went all political and angry and I figured Twitter continues to be the dumpster fire it has become notorious for being.
I really wish more storm chasers and aviators would move over to something like Mastodon, which isn’t controlled by corporate interests. But when you’re “click-dependent”, whether for monetary purposes or for the dopamine hit, it’s unlikely you’ll immediately get that rush when you switch to Mastodon. And that’s a shame.
I tuned into Mastodon this morning and saw a bunch of political posts, most of which were shrouded with a content warning as is the practice in most areas of the Fediverse. The never ending disappointment from the Supreme Court of the United States was populating my feed all over the place and it was making my blood pressure rise so I decided to step away from Mastodon for a few days.
The topic of “being a brand” versus “being me” online came up recently in a very interesting thread on Mastodon. I really enjoyed that discussion. I have always been a “what you see is what you get” kind of guy online, as I am in real life. Back in my early 20s, when I was working as a radio personality, I was told I should look a certain way and change my speech both in and out of the studio to meet a certain demographic expectation. I told the person making those recommendations that didn’t really fit my style and I was just going to be me to the best of my ability. My radio career is way back in the rearview mirror of my life but I still try to be honest and true to me when I share my nuggets of life here on this bloggy thingy.
The Mastodon discussion also revolved around people talking about their careers or other business interests first and foremost when it came to “sharing their brand”. I have a great job in tech, I lead an awesome team of developers, and like everywhere else in my life, I strive to be honest and true to who I am when interacting with my co-workers and the team that reports to me. I don’t know how to be any other way and there’s nothing wrong with that. I don’t get the idea of having to build a brand online or even building a brand in real life. If my husband and I are going to be multi-millionaires it’s because we got there being true to who we are, not because we followed a prescribed notion of who we were expected to be.
As a complete pivot away from the subject, I’d also like to share that I’m typing this blog entry in an old favorite application called “Ommwriter” that seems to have been resurrected from the dead. I’m listening to music included with the app on my noise canceling headphones. It is suppose to encourage creativity, and it does.