Beyond the comparison between email and social media lies that between computer 
and telephone. While some forms of social media were created for computer web 
browsing before the arrival of (so-called) smart phones, today the latter 
constitute the favoured medium of delivery for social media. Maybe this 
explains the generational gap between those who entered digital culture via 
computers, and those who entered via both.

One does have the impression that the telephone functions more directly as an 
appendice for the ego than the computer, and perhaps this explains why social 
media tends (but without generalising) towards a greater level of posturing and 
consequent potential for toxicity.

The 2000 character limit proposed for Mastodon implies that it is more 
orientated towards telephone than computer. Maybe such a limit is good because 
it canvasses for brevity, which is a virtue, but it also forces simplification 
or schematisation of complex discourse, for lack of sufficient words, which is 

("Traditional" discussion forum interfaces like the Well were great.)


> Le 30 nov. 2022 à 23:50, Jon Lebkowsky <> a écrit :
> There's a discontinuity in social media posts, and quite a bit of 
> attention-shifting, so Mastodon might not be the best solution - though 
> migration away from email does make sense. I find that I don't follow email 
> lists well - that might just be me, but I get so many thousands of pieces of 
> email at this point, much of it  escapes my attention.
> I always thought nettime would better fit a platform like the WELL's linear 
> asynchronous conferencing system, and a Discord server could be like that. 
> Mastodon, maybe not, especially to the extent that it's integrated with the 
> larger Fediverse and fed toots from many sources. That's a good substitute 
> for Twitter, I think, but not necessarily a best platform for coherent 
> conversation and focused attention.
> I've been AWOL from regular nettime participation for years, partly because 
> it's one of many email lists that fall into my various inboxes. I do hope the 
> list will continue as a list until a substitute technology proves to work. 
> ~ Jon L.

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