I used to feel like I belonged on the Internet. I didn’t feel like I belonged much anyplace else, but here, I knew who I was, and I could make any possibility happen with the support and encouragement of the other weird folks who called the Internet home.
For better or worse, the web feels different now. And it’s not just that everybody’s here. It’s that we’ve allowed a few large entities to dictate how we gather together, and we have not questioned whether the decisions they’ve made for their survival and growth are good for us as people.
There is certainly value in the big box social media we are part of (the fact that everyone is there being one of them), but these spaces are not feeding us as community is supposed to feed us. In fact, for most of us, they can be extremely toxic.
As unique as each person on our &yet team is, every one of them is one of the most passionate, caring people I’ve ever met. But that also means we’re a really sensitive bunch. The way our social networks are designed do more to make us feel isolated and anxious rather than filling us with a deep sense of belonging.