Plugged directly into the internet

I don’t do a lot of social media, and so over the holidays when I became active on several online discussion platforms simultaneously, I was a bit overwhelmed. I felt like I’d been plugged directly into the internet.

On the one hand, I enjoyed the conversation. I liked that there was always conversation happening. It skipped right over the step of initiating a conversation, which requires an activation energy to cross. And it eliminated any need for planning a conversation, which contributes to that activation energy requirement.

However, it was like drinking from a firehose.

I already knew that there was more to see than can ever be seen, but this experience lead me to reckon with that fact in a more tangible way.

I installed Ferdi, and loaded up all the old Slacks I’d ever been added to. I was able to log into both my Discord accounts simultaneously, and also discovered that there are public Discords about all sorts of things. Discourses too. And nano.page. Managed to mostly avoid Reddit. Signed into Gitter, which I previously rarely checked (so if you want to chat about Python Fire, join me there!) On top of those, and all the messaging apps I was already using before, I also fell into reading my six infinite distractions more often. There were now more channels of information coming in than I could simultaneously keep in my head. My computer and I both ran out of RAM. Needed a reboot and a new strategy for dealing with these channels.

The computer RAM issue turned out to be easier than the personal RAM one. Ferdi supports “hibernating” chat services when they’re not in use. My computer can now keep up with the chatter; I still can’t. 🤷‍♂️

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