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.
@lm a lot of social media platforms offer locked-down posting options to enforce that it only reaches intended recipients. but people don't use them much. it's interesting to think about how the attention can be... not undesired! some people probably Want To Be Famous, but there's also "I'd like to reach the five people most into this stuff already, not Absolutely Everyone, but I don't know who those five people are so let's make it public"
The Conventicle of the Lesser Occult Institute