Sometimes I feel that being on fedi is a bit like being kept afloat by bubbles.

Every post is a bubble. But being bubbles, they burst quickly. Some bubbles last longer than others, but sooner or later they all disappear.
So you have to keep it up: stop posting and soon there will be no bubbles left and you sink.

Maybe that is OK of course. Maybe it's not sinking but just submerging.

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@wim_v12e This is true. I posted very little for weeks on end this summer, because of lack of connectivity, and most people simply stopped talking to me. Out of sight, out of mind I guess.

@Gemlog I did notice, and I wondered. But I am not good at making contact, I always assume people are just having a life.

@wim_v12e Mind you, I did get the odd email asking how I was, so that was nice.

@wim_v12e I have learned that this here (and other social media, too) is all about providing info. No one will ask how you are doing if you stop posting. Well, maybe very, very, very few will do. But if you (suddenly) disappear, most people won't give a shit.
As long as you ('you' as in anyone of us) play this game without having expectations, it can be fun. Once expectations kick in, you have lost and its best to lay this to rest *sigh*

@Bella I am one of those who's not likely to ask, I know. I'm not sure it means people don't care. I do care but I still usually don't get over the reluctance to directly contact someone.

I didn't want to gripe because on the whole, fedi has been a very positive factor in my life for these past years.

@wim_v12e I do get the impression that people do not care enough. But at the same time I ask myself: why should they? We are all just strangers that me(e)t online 🤷
But I am grateful that over the years I got to meet lovely people on Mastodon with whom I now correspond in real life.
All in all I like Fedi, too. But every now and then I have to remind myself that we all use it by our own rules. And - once again - that this is not the right place for expectations 😊

@Bella So true. The secret of a happy fedi experience is not to have expectations on the behaviour of the others. 😊

@Bella @wim_v12e I think it depends a bit on how deeply people engaged with you. When DJ Sundog disappeared for like a year I kept seeing questions about where he is. When I was on vacation one friend got all worried.
Now I seek that as a goal: be memorable enough that people will wonder where you are when you disappear.

@csepp That's an interesting goal (and thought). I hope you will reach it 🤞

@wim_v12e @Bella

I’ve gotten know a few really nice people on here, and I’ve had some long conversations with them. And then one day, their account just vanished. I don’t know what happened with them or with their account, but I still think about them sometimes :blobsad:

@Christian Oh, that's difficult and I can relate to that. I had this happening, too. I still think of someone who I haven't seen here for two years. Every now and then I wonder whether he is doing OK and I truly hope so.
That's why it is nice to exchange contact details with the ones that I get closer with and connect in real life, too.

@Bella @Christian It shows that you don't have to have met anyone irl to feel the loss when they disappear. You know the person only by your post-based interactions with them, and yet that is enough.

@Christian @Bella
I have that too. Every now and then I think "what would have become of X, I hope they're happy"

@Bella @wim_v12e
I have very good friends I interact with here, although at times life kicks in and demands my undivided attention. I suppose it's like this for everyone. But people never leave my heart. Sometimes it's even worrisome: I am now thinking of four cases of people I've lost contact with. Time and again I contact them, and all the time get no replay.

On the other hand, it's also true what you say. I realize I seed my own expectations, and this leads to disappointments in some unfortunate case.

@Eidon It's lovely that you think about them and try to get in touch. At the same time I wonder: has anyone on here ever done the same for you?
I am asking, because I am like you when it comes to worrying and caring. But I decided to stop being that way since it was not reciprocated. The expectations brought me down and made me mad at myself. So I decided to see this as an online world only and stop worrying. Against my nature.
Doesn't feel right either.

@Bella @Eidon Well, I can answer that with a "yes". At one time I had gone off for a week and several people expressed concern. And also, sometimes I post things that give the impression that I am down, and almost always there have been people to support me.
But I understand your sentiment. There is no point in letting fedi get you down. Your own wellbeing comes first, because you can't help others if you're in a bad shape yourself.

@wim_v12e Which brings us to the question what Fedi means to us and what we use it for 😊
Unfortunately I am too tired now to delve deeper into this subject. I can only say that for the past months I have not spend as much time here as I used to and I have not been following people like I used to: Read everything, react to a lot.
Back on Twi*** I used to feel the need to post and react daily. On Mastodon I don't. And that's good.
Good night! 😴

@Bella @wim_v12e

Yes, dear friend Wim here provides me with the perfect example. I'm grateful of his friendship!

Yeah doing things against one's nature does not work nicely. In my case, I realize that I end up bottling my expectations: I say to myself "I won't expect anything -- I won't repeat the same mistake again". But it's not true. I still hope. I'm hopeless I guess 😅

@Eidon You can't be hope-less if you keep hoping, can you? 😄


@Eidon @Bella

Which just means that fedi presents us with great opportunities to practice.

My Buddhist teacher called all of life that was not meditation the "meditation break", and it was an opportunity tp practice the teachings on which you had been meditating.

@Eidon @Bella @wim_v12e I feel largely the same, I miss many who have left, some I still remember times we talked, funny memes and pictures they shared. I'm glad I'm still friends with people like you, Eidon, I need to be better

@coyote @Bella @wim_v12e
Likewise, I'm truly happy that I've met you here and can call you my dear friend...
We all need to be better, most certainly I do...

@coyote @Bella @wim_v12e
You're so kind my friend...
Re: tune: Oh wow, this makes me so happy, thx!! 🎶 🎇 🎸 🙇 !

@Eidon @coyote @wim_v12e This is interesting. May I ask a question?
Have you been in touch in real life?
Have you met?
(I am asking, because I wonder if my definition of 'a friend' differs from yours)

@Bella Eidon and I have never met irl but we've worked on a few music projects together.

@Eidon @coyote

@wim_v12e @Bella @coyote And hopefully will do so again soon yeah! 🎶 😃

@wim_v12e Thank you. So this may be the big difference: I wouldn't call a person I have never met a friend. Could be a language/cultural thing?!
I have met people here with whom I have met in real life and with whom I exchange messages. Some of the ones I've met became friends (over time), the others (that I am corresponding with) are very dear to me and maybe we will meet one day and become rl friends. Those would probably ask if I disappeared.
@Eidon @coyote

@Bella @wim_v12e @coyote
I don't know, I personally think that friendship does not necessarily require physical encounters.

I must say that my case is peculiar though: for some reasons, my brain has never been able to recall images. When I close my eyes, all is black. What really stays with me are the ideas, the nobility of spirit, the "depth" of the soul...

@Bella @Eidon @coyote
That's a nice way of putting it. For me it is the same: I don't feel I have to have met someone irl to call them a friend. I suppose I build a mental picture of the person based on the interactions with them. I quite like the idea that a person is purely defined through their interactions with other people.

@wim_v12e That's - for me - a difficult (albeit lovely) way of looking at people online. Because on Social Media it is very easy to draw a picture of myself that doesn't have anything to do with reality. I could be a class a actress, friendly, kind, interested, and in real life I don't have any friends, because I am one hell of a liar, back-stabbing, mean and extremely unfriendly.
But maybe, esp. as a woman, I am prone to being more careful 🤷
@Eidon @coyote

@Bella That is true, it is possible that the person we call a friend is a persona of the "real" person. But that is to my mind not so different from real life, people can put up a front. I have had several experiences like that. Especially abusive personalities are often very good in appearing to be nice, until you see through them.

@Eidon @coyote

@wim_v12e @Bella @Eidon @coyote
I also think it is possible to become friends only through online contact. The expression of feelings, conveying ideas, and swapping experiences can be just as easily done electronically. Deception is also likely in real life.

In the old days™ there were many love affairs started through (and solely through) correspondence.

@fitheach @Bella @Eidon @coyote

In the Tale of Genji, letters are the key mechanism of social interaction between men and women in the upper classes. Initially, the man never gets to see or hear the woman. They are not even in the same room. He talks to here via an intermediary, one of her ladies-in-waiting.
The only private communication they have is via letters.

@wim_v12e @fitheach @Bella @Eidon maybe you'll like the album by Haruomi Hosono of the same title. Gorgeous in my opinion.

Were those love affairs or just marriage? In many cultures marriage can be pre-arranged or decided by familial ties. Those don't necessarily denote strong personal feelings.

@Bella @Eidon @coyote

@fitheach @Bella @Eidon @coyote

In the Heian era, in those circles, to spend the night with a woman meant that the man had married her. Typically they had one main wife and several others.
It did not mean that all those men looked after their wives well though. It mostly meant they could not have an affair with another man.
Which never stopped Genji from pursuing affairs with married women.

@wim_v12e @Bella @coyote you made me think of the ethymology of person, possibly from Etrurian 𐌘𐌄𐌓𐌔𐌖 (phersu, "mask")!

@wim_v12e @Bella @coyote

I simply love your idea, Wim, and also the way you expressed it. Somehow, it makes me think of many different and seemingly unrelated things -- Tezuka's Atom, the Turing's Test, the behavioral general-systems-theory by Rosenblueth, Wiener, and Bigelow... 🎇 👍 😃

@Eidon I was thinking of the Yoneda Lemma myself. It says just that: an object is fully defined by its interactions with all other objects. But of course it deals with mathematical objects and phrases this in a much more precise form.

@Bella @coyote

@Eidon @Bella @coyote But please tell me more about the behavioural general-systems-theory

@wim_v12e @coyote @Bella @Eidon In special education, we learn applied behavior analysis (ABC analysis); can it be helpful?

@wim_v12e @Bella @coyote
Sure, it is all in this classic paper:

The idea is that, when talking about systems, the best way to classify them would be by looking at the most advanced behavior they can exercise (see table from that paper).

All other characteristics are simply not taken into account: technological, architectural aspects are not considered, for instance. It's purely the way to interact with the environment that is used to classify the system.

@wim_v12e Indeed. Interestingly enough, I find it very hard to explain that to most people. Many people I've spoken to use social media where, when you have interactions with other peers, they are mostly (only ?) in contact with people that they know irl. They don't even imagine that you could make friends with people in the Wired. At least that's my experience.
@Bella @Eidon @coyote

@wim_v12e yeah i feel like I'm too inactive on here to grow real connections but this is also the only social media I'm personally interested in. It's a very different experience to Twitter, I feel like growing a following is something that can't really happen here and instead you have an unstable web of small connections to many people. It's a lot more personal at the cost of the huge reach you can build on other networks.

@RATFOOD I would say I am reasonably active here but I'm not out to grow my network. I think in fedi, your number of followers probably just grows with time, even if you are not very active. I've just been here quite long.
There is a handful of people that I interact with frequently, a Pareto distribution I guess.

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