I have a theory about an attribute of social media and I want to bounce it off ppl to see if it seems like A Thing to y'all

people have talked about context collapse before, where your internet presentation isn't able to be segmented into what you'd show church people, employers, peers, family, etc., and it's all just one context

but of course we know that in practical terms, people don't *use* social media as if the context were absolutely everyone in their lives seeing it. that's why it's always awkward when a Bad Tweet goes viral and it's clear the tweeter was using Twitter to chat within their social network, with a thicker context, where more subtle ironies and such might be expressed.... but actually they were posting publicly also

my theory is that there's something particularly psychologically stressful about having to deal with Schrodinger's Audience: when you put something out there, you have to adopt a tone of humility appropriate to only a few people, maybe your close contacts seeing it... but you also have to communicate as though you might be talking to Absolutely Everyone. and you don't really control which.

Follow

tiktok seems really prone to this since 100% of discovery there is algorithmically mediated, but I remember getting the sense of this in tumblr days. you could tell sometimes there'd be something cringey about a response where a person was writing as if they expected to go viral, to have thousands of reactions back them up, but... they were just some kid, you know? and yet, they *might have.*

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Conventicle of the Lesser Occult Institute

The Conventicle of the Lesser Occult Institute