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This account is my 1st time actively participating in social media. I had a fb account back when it started out & needed a university/college email to register. I quit that addiction after a few years when I realized how much time I was wasting. I recently had a birdsite account but only followed a few organizations like NASA, EFF, ProtonMail and news outlets as a way to stay up-to-date. I never followed individuals and I never posted anything. I'm not on ig or any other social media site. 1/5

I'm not sure why I'm uninterested in engaging in these platforms that have millions of active users. They certainly have their pull factors and addicting features like having a large number of followers and the ego trip that comes with that. But I feel that's unhealthy, largely inconsequential and ultimately futile. I'm uncomfortable with the idea of strangers having information about me like where I live, work, hang out or what I look like; hence the lack of interest in posting selfies. 2/5

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I read about birdsite, fb, & ig being toxic environments where algorithms stoke fears, promote hate & prey on anxieties/vulnerabilities in order to keep users engaged, build behavioral profiles & sell ads. I don't want to be a part of these very anti-social, harmful and unproductive social mechanisms that contribute to a few elites becoming increasingly rich by exploiting the behavioral data of millions of users who get nothing nearly as substantial in return for their contributions. 3/5

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This brings me back to mastodon; why I am here & actively participating now, after all these years in my early 30s. Aside from obvious positives like decentralization, no ads-based profit model & lack of algorithm-based promotion of content, I am seeing some of the benefits of this communications network. I enjoy exposure to new ideas & have genuinely learned a lot of new things. I've interacted with people from various communities & identities--some of which I didn't even known existed. 4/5

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I think that's very cool and that's what I like about this experience so far. A chance to broaden my social horizon, increase my awareness of the diversity of experiences people live, listen to what others have to say, evaluate my biases--to start. I think eventually I'd like to engage in conversations, possibly help people out if asked to & maybe ask for advice. I don't think I'll ever post a selfie or engage in shitposting--it's just not me, nothing judgmental towards those who do. 5/5

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