Quitting MW/Reddit/FB/Social Media


This is a common view, but I actually don’t hold with it. I think that when you get to know people online, you are actually getting to know them. Of course it takes time, but our behaviour online is a pretty good reflection of our behaviour anywhere imo. You can’t hide behind a nickname in the long run - except for physically, I suppose. I think we mostly say online what we would in real life, and vice-versa.

I use the name strettara here because that’s what I was using on muffs, but to be honest I wish it were possible to change names and just use my own real life name now; although I’ve been in a few dust-ups and expressed some unpopular opinions as strettara, I think my online persona reflects pretty accurately who I am, and I wouldn’t want to delete even the stupidest or most pompous of my pronouncements (and there are many of those!). In the end, I am who I am and I’m happy to take responsibility for that.

(Rereading your comment, I see we may be talking about slightly different things, but hey! That’s life!)


I am not sure about this. My experience with my self is that being online is a bit like driving a car: Your are in contact with all the other people around you but there is still some kind of border that makes you feel separated or private or something like that. I would not talk to people in the way I sometimes do when we meet in our cars. It’s not that I shout “Sorry, I feel a little uncomfortable with the way you surprised me by disregarding my right of way and outbraking me.”

In the same manor I tend to to say things online which I, while generally maintaining the expressed opinions and feelings, I might would not say that expressive in a personal discussion. Not to speak of some stupid jokes even my real life friends roll their eyes about. And I think (or at least: hope) that it is the same with quite a few other people around.

So I think my online persona represents a biased version of who I am. I sometimes wisch I could undo or unsay some things but as in real life we can only do better for the future and take responsibility for the past.


That is partly my experience also.
Reading, and participating in online forums or mailing-lists requires me to create a mental projection of each and every participant, which is quite energy-consuming; because most of the time, there are few clues to help recreate a person’s personality based on its text output only. So my mind uses every tiny bit of info (nickname, picture, location, writing style) beyond the posted content to try and relate the person to a not-too-far-way-from-some-reality avatar. It often fails miserably, but that is only known to me when the person suddenly reveals a behavior or way of thinking that was not yet emphasized.
IRL there are lots of inferences too, but the amount of information from where those start is much larger.
When reading a forum in which i do not participate (for example when googles directs me to some place where my problem was solved), i do not differentiate the various posters; all of them i perceive as an inner “collective” voice.
When participating somewhere (like here), it takes some time to see patterns emerging, in how persons differentiate from each other, and for a persona to emerge for each one in my mental landscape.

I have had a few friendship emerge out of online communities, but more often than not, people which i enjoyed reading, i have realized i wouldn’t want them around me.

As to the “general feeling of an online community”:
there was a time when writing in public on the internet was supposed to be done in respect with some etiquette. After all, a message to a mailing list has all potential to stay public “forever”. With the advent of massive social media and the pervasion of the all-mighty post-modern pseudo-“irony” in every way of electronic communication, what was once public thoughts exchange is now often considered “a private discussion readable by strangers who i don’t give a damn about”; and most places on the web suddenly feel like a highschool locker-room, full of private references, of jokes that irl one only dares to tell if in the sole company of people that now for sure “i don’t endorse that view”, of bullies that think they aren’t, and so on. Now every “bar-room politics”-level discourse is put online and stays there with the potential to make the world feel/read like a terribly offensive and miserable place. We are bound to endure all short sighted-views, excluding speeches, “good-faith” entitlement to racist/sexist jokes, and that is terribly tiring and driving to despair (which in turns creates more self-distance “ironic” dickitude).
That is not happening here, and i’m glad about that.

…erf, sorry for the atrociously unreadable post.


Twitter is an interesting one. It’s great for the positive political reasons you mention and it also excels at new kinds of comedy and poetry (RIP @Horse_ebooks), etc… But it’s also a hotbed for hate, harassment, weird neo-nazi meme bot subcultures and other terrible stuff.


My partner has for just over two years; to be fair, she has me to keep up on events. All I use it for is to keep tabs on DIY communities and hear about/promote shows and such.


that hits hard

I was completely unaware of this…knowing it happened months ago dulls the pain a bit but I’m stunned. How could they mistreat someone who contributed so much to the city and the world?

After having denounced and criminalized graffiti as vandalism, after having oppressed the youth culture that created them, after having evacuated the places which functioned as laboratories for those artists, now Bologna’s powers-that-be pose as the saviors of street art.

such a powerful excerpt


SO late to the party in this thread! Never done more than lurk on MW, but so glad I popped in here for a little read (That turned into a VERY long read).

I need to reply, because I QUIT FACEBOOK SUCCESSFULLY!!

There are a few forum-ish kind of websites that haven’t been attracted to despite their content that you’d think I’d love. MW and TalkBass come to mind. Someone above described the feeling as “Boys Club” but I think that more specifically than that, it’s the kind of presumption that everyone online is white, male, straight etc. A kind of Heteronormativity taken to the extreme (Is there a word for this?!)

Anyhow, some of the greatest websites I contribute to are curated by a diverse bunch of people. For example lines and Film Shooters Collective have women at the top of the organisation, so people who enjoy putting down women just aren’t going to engage.

Kind of reminds me of the whole Make Racists Afraid Again thing.

Unfortunately, every man knows another man that has seemed a lovely human being, until it’s only men around, and then they turn into some kind of strange stereotype straight outta Mad Men.

ANYWAY FACEBOOK: I had to quit.

I just had to.

During the summer this year I was experiencing a terrible time with my anxiety and depression. I changed medication and things weren’t getting better. I was spending hours every day online, most of it on Facebook. I decided to start making small, sustainable changes to try and get hold of some “marginal gains”.

I stopped drinking alchohol.
I started running.
I stopped consuming artificial sweetners.
I started taking zinc.
I stopped eating meat.
I started taking pro biotics.
I sold a load of stuff that was making me miserable (notably most of my vintage camera collection) and…

I realise I’m in a very privileged position. I’m too busy with creative work to need the networking opportunity it afforded me. I have a great close friendship group that I don’t see enough of, so don’t feel I need to be on FB to avoid loneliness. Most of the people I want to engage with are on Twitter and Instagram anyway, and they’re much more manageable and less all-encompassing.

Anyhow, my mental health is now much better, and on the Facebook front I’ve found a new obsession to replace it:

JOMO - Joy Of Missing Out.


[quote=“Dogma, post:166, topic:5618”]
Simple way of dealing with others on the net - if you wouldn’t say it in “real life” then you shouldn’t write it…simples
[/quote]Not so simple because people say plenty in real life that you’d find offensive


I’ve met several people from online communities and some have become long term friends. Some I’ve worked with, even over years and on multiple projects. I’ve seldom been very surprised by who they were on meeting them, although they haven’t always looked like I imagined they would :smiley:

Anyway, I don’t give it as much weight as some people here seem to do. I’m probably just getting old and want an easy life.


Have to disagree on this, the “no politics” rule has only really been made overt in the last month when a divisive political campaign in America left a large number of people unhappy, frustrated and likely to take out this frustration online. Banning it from the site is no different from the “stop posting new posts about the Mother 32” notice.

I didn’t see any big issue following the UKs decision to leave the EU, as that was unlikely to swamp the forum with arguments.

it is a noise reduction measure rather than a attempt to stop political discourse. (of which there are better places online to discuss). Mike is a libertarian and tries to be hands off as much as possible, its just sometimes you need to ensure the 5% don’t ruin it for the 95%.


True but then you have all the other tools (body language, voice modulation ect) and that’s the difference I guess - everything approaching on how we’ve communicated forever is removed behind a handle


Was reminded of the no politics on synth forums discussion when my GF told me about this.

Would much rather recommend a good monosynth to someone on the internet if I knew it was going to be used for inclusive not divisive purposes…

maybe sometimes its better not to know someones politics when talking gear.


“no politics” rules simply ensure an fragile community don’t disintegrate. if people can’t be civil while discussing synthesizers (or whatever), of course the moderators wouldn’t want to see more controversial topics-- because people will alienate one another, and then leave.

as i see it, topical online communities (such as this) are exactly the sort of place where controversial topics should be discussed, if the participants are up for it-- due to the fact that there is an established respect between users. i guarantee we don’t all have the same beliefs. if there was any place where we’d be willing to take a minute and consider what’s being said, it might be somewhere like this.

and lastly, participation is not enforced by any means. it’s not like suddenly politics are peppered all over every topic-- the threads are labeled.


Yep. Consider though, that Muffs has 30,000 registered users, so while there is plenty of respect among the 100 or so who chat every day, there are plenty of wildcards who might come out (I imagine) when politics is the issue, especially in these very divisive - and “post-truth” - times. I don’t know how big this community is - an order of magnitude smaller? OK - 1,800 users. The risk for meltdown is proportionally lower in a small community, I think.

Another thing about politics as a subject for discussion - no-one ever changes their mind or learns anything new. So it very quickly degenerates into trench warfare. In contrast, even the most bitterly fought discussions about sexism, “what is music” (:laughing:) and so on on Muffs have generally ended in hugs and often people have taken other peoples’ points of view on board. They’ve generally worked out quite positively. Political arguments on the internet tend not to go like that.

99.99% of all discussion on Muffs is pretty civilised. Just saying.


I hear this sentiment expressed rather frequently, but it rather directly contradicts my own personal experience.

That is not to say that learning or persuasion is common, but I certainly wouldn’t rule it out.


Just a quick note to say that “Sexism” or “What is Music” are both topics about politics, so this is unclear what’s ruled out by the “no politics” if these are not. And then again, most topics are about politics (in fact, even synth, especially modular synth), which is the problem with the “no politics” rule, it just keeps people from actually going to the bottom of things on a lot of matters. Does politic only imply “who I vote for”? For me it never did (as I think a lot of people who govern and get elected really don’t like politics at all anyway, they just like to manage things, which is different).


pretty sure I saw reasoned discussion here on thorny topics such as choice of programming language, window managers & even (gasp) text editors. I’d say this goes beyond politics, bordering on radical theology so well done everyone for not descending into a giant screaming match!

interesting thing is that it seems to me monome ‘philosophy’, being obviously influenced by free software, is inherently political. So this community seems to self-select people who at least respect the pragmatic argument for free software (i.e extensibility/hackability), if not the political stance…


Regardless of its stated intent, a rule banning political argument is a very blunt and overt political tool. It supports the existing state of the institution with its existing biases. In other words, it is politically conservative.

For a long time I found the “boys club” aspect off-putting, but reasoned (OK, maybe rationalized) that positive engagement could help change that. A “no politics” policy deflates that hope by saying “no, we the keepers of the institution like it this way.”


I beg to differ. I think there are substantial differences between discussing e.g. whether or not the EMS Synthi AKS can be called a modular synthesizer or not, versus Germany should open its borders for refugees or not. The later is politics, and compared with it the former isn’t – in my book.


Sure :slight_smile: I’m not saying that every subject is 100% politics, it’s justa question of where you set the cursor. When you say

That’s just slightly politics, but not enough for it to be the essential part of the conversation. All I’m saying is : this could become a political discussion if you don’t close it, and I wouldn’t fit into a place where I could not discuss this aspect of things at the risk of getting banned or criticized just for doing so.

Just as easily, I’d be interested to know if there actually are stories/reflections connecting refugees and synth that could enlighten me musically or intellectually (after all, there are music nerds among them too), but that would also never come up in a community that bans politic.

In the end the simple problematic for me is : you ban politics from a synth forum to avoid ugly conflict, it’s fine, but it will eventually cripple the way you can discuss things there, even synth, and ESPECIALLY synths made by people in what can only be describe as a very interesting alternative economy to the big manufacturers (hence why i was saying modular synth is inherently more politics oriented, as in its core it’s a very practical and philosophical answer to the way instrument makers are organized since a few decades).

I really didn’t mean that when you chose 4MS modules instead of a Serge system you’re actually making as big a statement as if you were advertising for Trump or Brexit on a regular basis.

Edit: on a sidenote, please keep in mind that I’m not talking about or criticizing MW because I’ve only been there once or twice and have no opinion about it! I’m just talking about the no politics rule, which is not exclusive to MW.