Mastodon is like the early internet, and that’s a good thing

Mastodon is like the early internet, and that’s a good thing
Written by MAGASIR

Back in 2017, I joined mastodon.cloud, one of the first “instances” (aka servers) for Mastodon. The concept seemed convoluted: A decentralized social network (whatever that means), although it was just another thing to sign up for at the time. So, like many tech geeks, I parked a username just in case Mastodon ever took off, which seemed quite unlikely.

Fast forward to 2022, and I don’t need to rehash the drama of Twitter after Elon Musk has taken over. I’m not much into fake controversy and daily outrage. I mostly laughed at the madness of seemingly random and contradictory new policies like  Banning the sharing of other social networks, only to be reversed less than 24 hours later (but not before banning some users, of course). There’s also the seemingly retaliatory suspension of journalists to settle petty personal scores or whatever Twitter Blue is these days.

And when Twitter became hilariously mismanaged, it became less valuable and fun, at least for me. Many of the personal accounts I followed started posting less (or not at all). My timeline became automated brand postings – one endless news RSS feed. Those who were tweeting were talking about Elon Musk – a topic I’m so burnt out on, like many others. And the few times I tweeted, the interactions and sharing reflected what felt like a mass rejection of whatever Twitter was morphing into with less interaction .

Mastodon bio page on the Android app Megalodon. (Image credit: Daniel Rubino)

I’ve always noted that you need two significant events for a paradigm shift. For one, the existing paradigm, in this case, Twitter, must undergo a crisis. Number two, you need a viable alternative that does something better than the previous system. This shift has happened with Myspace vs. Facebook, Netscape vs. Internet Explorer, FTP/Gopher/Newsgroups vs. WWW, IRC vs. SMS/messaging apps, etc.

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