This One Trick Will Revolutionize Your Use of Social Media: Block fuckwits.

On social media, the advantage is that a large userbase and participation. The disadvantage: it's 99.9999% crap.

What's working for me is to filter ruthlessly. If someone is disruptive, ideological, insane, or crazy-making, I'll block them without thought (I used to agonize over that, I don't any more).

High signal is rare, but odds of missing out by blocking idiots are low.

@dredmorbius I also unfollow brutally. shitposters do not get followed. popular meme phrases get filtered.

experts in a field get followed. if they shitpost too much, they get unfollowed.

@pnathan I'd discovered this when I was in a hate-on-Google mode at G+ and started just unfollowing massively.

When I stripped down to a core of genuinely interesting people I was interacting with ... the site got scary good. As I've just commented on Diaspora: G+ really _was_ small relative to other SocMed sites, but individual experience was wholly dependent on who you followed and how you interacted with those people.

@pnathan @dredmorbius If I would happen onto someone who drained my energy too much I would probably block.. Personally I almost never block though... mostly because battling my own confirmation bias...

@shellkr There are ... probably better options than microblogging sites for busting out of that.

I find the search vs. stream motifs are interesting contrasts.

Stream (chronological, algo) _feeds_ you what is coming down it.

Search allows you to go out and seek. And there are numerous searching strategies and techniques.

High-quality rebuttal is rare as hen's teeth on most social media. You kind of have to find the good examples and assess those critically.


@shellkr SocMed, and _especially_ microblogging, is far more memetic warfare than Socratic discourse.

(Exceptions happen. They're welcomed.)


@dredmorbius I was just thinking about socmed in terms of mimesis and human evolution this morning. SocMed seems ready made for the propagation of memes, is it possible the internet (a manifestation of collective consciousness) really is following a similar evolution from pre-language (the meme in my assumption) to language that ancient humans may have themselves gone through? Is today's tribalism a result of meme culture and, therefore, simply a natural occurrence we'll have to grow out of?

@dredmorbius @pnathan Ohh yes, there are plenty (and better) of ways to do it for sure... It is pretty nice and a lazy way to get served via the feed though. Also.. most people are more than just one side and pretty broad. They may have 8 sides I like but the 2 I don't.

@shellkr @dredmorbius

I've actually found that a very carefully curated Twitter feed is, let me just say, wildly good.

I actually maintain a Tweetdeck that has both a regular feed and searches on specific hashtags to give me a "pulse" on what's being said/botted on certain topics.

On average, mastodon is much worse as a place to learn things, because it doesn't have the numbers of "interesting' people.

@pnathan Truth to tell, there's not a whole lot of deep insight in areas I'm strongly interested in I find on Masto. A lot of insight on areas I'm _not_ following keenly, and general Zeitgeist. And a few rare gems.

One of the underlying truths of the Seeker who goes looking for the Guru is that it turns out you've got to find the Guru where they are. And that's (fairly probably) not where you are.

@dredmorbius note that if everyone seems to be "ideological", the problem may lie somewhere else

@dredmorbius this is basically a recipe for a nice, comfortable echo chamber

@deshipu Not if you apply the logic intelligently.

It's quite possible to disagree strongly with someone, and still be respectful of differences and limits.

I've harvested a few sets of useful guidelines over the years, most referenced here:

@dredmorbius Eh, it depends on what you want from the particular service. If you want a safe place to chill out and rest, fine, build that echo chamber. If you want shitposts and stupid memes, that is perfectly valid as well. However, if you actually want to learn new things and see how others see the world, then "respect my truth" is a pretty bad rule. I will always respect people, I never respect truths — they are there to be killed and dissected, so that we can build better ones from the remains.

@deshipu You're misreading me badly.

As a general rule, marching straight out and telling someone they're wrong, with shallow dismissals, bodes poorly.

It's also a tiresome discussion.

@dredmorbius I think I could compare it to physical activity. You don't want all the places you frequent to be hard to get to and tiring, you need some safe havens, and you need some hiking routes and such. But you also can have this one spot that is hard to get to, where you climb sometimes to just look down on the world, or that running track where you go when you are angry and just want to expend all that energy. Social media can be all those, and more, but for your brain. There is no one good recipe.

@deshipu There's a balance between changing your mind radically on notions (something I've made a bit of a career of for the past decade or more), and of finding oneself simply harried and beset by others.

A lot of critics (and advocates) simply are not very good.

@dredmorbius i as a semi-sometimes fuckwit dislike this remark. i think people should be able to have bad days, bad weeks, bad quarters.

to me, i want to see a long term track record of strikes against people. a socially generated system that looks longer term, that gives a better range of insight. i'm not here for casting people off, cutting them loose, just for being a jackass or stupid or fuckwits a couple of times. i hope we all feel like we at times have been fuckwits. i certainly know i have. i don't disagree with people's or communities choices to exile me after one or two offenses, but i certainly encourage society to be much more robust, to admit to fault, to face reality with much more assumption that a lot of fuckwit resides in each of us, and that we are all here to try to help each other work through it.

@jauntywunderkind420 I'm plenty of people's fuckwit. They've blocked me for it. I'm fine with that. Feeling's often mutual.

The point isn't the labeling. The point is mental and epistemic hygiene for those subject to annoyances.

If someone is clouding your head, harshing your buzz, chafing where they shouldn't, or just raising general annoyance levels, then with no regrets or apologies, block them.

That goes for me too.

I've actually got a bit of infrastructure, I have a "strike" list (on Masto), or equivalent elsewhere. My experience has simply been that those who hit the strike list very nearly always end up blocked.

The practice is about controlling your own epistemic space and practicing premptive self care. I'm fully aware that some of those blocked may occasionaally, or even often, have something on point to say.

But their delivery, for me at least, sucks.

It's also possible, with time and sincere effort, to get off the list.

But it's far better to avoid getting on in the first place, which is another major point.

Don't be a fuckwit.

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