Algorithm vs. Community? I Choose Community.
Last night, just before heading off to bed, I noticed a post in the Motherhood Community (don’t ask how I found it, I don’t remember) from @motherhood giving a challenge for folks to provide unsolicited advice to @theycallmedan and his wife @gabbygoldenxo with respect to raising their new infant son, Baby Ander.
Then I spent a couple late-night hours crafting and posting a response.
I have a personal connection with @theycallmedan, even though we have never met. It was @theycallmedan who first ‘informed me’ about Hive (via an interview he did with someone, that I stumbled across via twitter or some other social media site, several months ago).
A few months later, when my students expressed a desire to dig deeper into understanding the effects of social media on their lives, the government, and the world, I reached out to @theycallmedan and asked him to speak to my students about decentralized social media, to which he graciously agreed.
When I gave him a list of dates, he chose to speak at our first meeting of the semester (2/1/21) because he said his wife was expecting in March and he did not want to commit to anything too close to that timeframe.
Shortly after @theycallmedan engaged with my class and our Free Enterprise Society, I found myself becoming actively involved with Hive, getting to ‘know’ lots of different folks, and periodically conversing with @theycallmedan and a couple of the devs he introduced me to.
The more I interacted, the more I began developing connections with members of the Hive community (even though I do not ‘personally’ know any of them).
You see, when I saw the post from @motherhood, it wasn’t about some random challenge (even though the post involved a challenge that I was responding to), it was about my connection to some people, real people. As such, I wanted to contribute, not because some algorithm had sucked me in, but because I read a post that appealed to my sense of belonging, my sense of community, my sense of wanting to contribute meaningfully to those within that community.
That is why I voluntarily spent another couple hours composing a post recommending parenting advice to someone I have never met in person and only once ever had a voice conversation with; I ended up choosing to stay up until after 3 am even though I would still need to get up at 7:30 am to get my own kids to school.
And I felt a sense of satisfaction about sacrificing sleep to contribute.
This is such a far cry from the too many times when I have found myself staring at my twitter feed at 2 am, bleary-eyed, and wondering where the past 3 hours have gone -- wishing I could have them back!
Last night’s experience, for me, exemplifies that observation!
I followed the above tweet with a tweet explaining why that is so:
Given the choice, I’m all in with the positive (and have ditched the negative -- with no regrets ).
Those of you on Hive already know this and ‘get’ it, but we need to get this message out to those on twitter, instagram, and elsewhere!