Social vs Social
I’m going to talk about the social networks the centralized form and the decentralized one.
Decentralization itself is a extensive topic so what I will talk about here is the federation aspect of a decentralized network. Think email.
I’m giving Instagram a break. I’ve stopped posting there many years ago but I’ve been consuming content there for a while and at some points, it was to an amount that I ended up finding unhealth. So just recently I don’t go there anymore and I don’t miss it.
Where did I moved my consumption too?
Well, part of it to the fediverse (the other part to blogs), I’ve been using Mastodon since 2020 but with the exudus from Twitter to Mastodon last year I ended up following more people there since then.
Both of these places, Instagram and Mastodon are social networks and I don’t find there is a lot of differences if you remove a few bells and whistles. In there essence they are similar. But there is a big difference, Instagram is centralized, there is a central place the all users are connected to and they can only talk to others that are there too. No external connections.
On the other hand, Mastodon is decentralized (federated) meaning there are multiple servers that users can setup their accounts and one user in one server can talk to a user in another server. Like email, if you have a Gmail account you can send an email to someone on Hotmail.
There is one other difference I have been experiencing on Mastodon. It feels more interesting, people there seems to care and share more interesting things. I think that has to do with the fact that at this point if someone has an account on Mastodon it is because they are looking for something different, so those people think different.
I left Instagram because I was following people of topics that I am interested one but I felt that the people I was following didn’t have anything new to share. At the beginning I engaged and learn something but as the time went by the knownledge they shared didn’t get any deeeper and I wasn’t learning anymore and lost interest.
I think my expirience is not unique and other people have also left Instagram and many more will get to the same point where they will leave. I just hope they find the fediverse and that it’s federated aspect of many small instances that talk with each other have the power to keep itself different and interesting to everyone.