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.

@maya i definitely feel this, and write differently between public and followers-only posts. there's a sense both that i need to present something worth the time of people who haven't already signed up to hear what i say and also that i need to be careful because there are weirdos out there who can easily give those posts undesired attention

being able to reply to a post in a dm is a fantastic feature to help combat some of this, too


@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"

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Conventicle of the Lesser Occult Institute

The Conventicle of the Lesser Occult Institute