Because of the overwhelming number of positive comments and upvotes, something I really did not expect when I wrote this, I have reconsidered and will be giving this at least another week, probably more.
I think many of the points I made were valid, and I think they might yet be counterbalanced by the positive human engagement in this community. So, please decide whether or not to read on, but know that I am afraid you all are stuck with me a little longer.
So Long and Thanks for All the Fish
(Please read above first if you have not already done so.)
I have to be honest. I have been part of Hive for almost a week, and I am already seriously considering leaving. While I have felt extremely welcomed by many members, others, like a certain someone who wrote a post purporting to help newbies, but directed at my transgressions, have left a very bad taste in my mouth.
Image Source: uniquedesigns52 on pixabay.com
I have gone to great lengths to read all the FAQ and rules I could find prior to posting anything, but still I have run afoul of one unwritten rule after another. Yesterday, I got muted for posting something in silver bloggers. I still don't know what I did wrong. I'm old. It's a blog about my life. Where did I run afoul of the rules? Because it was also a thoughtful daily post? Well, for some weird reason, despite the leader of the thoughtful daily post community being lovely to me, I cannot join. Yes. I did try clicking the link.
My post was unmuted a day later, but not before I spent 24 hours wondering what the hell was wrong with my post. I didn't know it was muted. I didn't even know muting posts was a thing.
I read posts about how people here want to grow the community. That will not happen by constantly swatting newcomers like flies. It's not a good strategy, people.
Recently, I saw a comment criticizing a new Hive friend from Nigeria for his post on Leo Finance. It may have been the wrong setting for his post, but the comment was not a friendly, helpful comment. It was vicious and completely discounted the writer's words and feelings. It hurt me to read it.
Besides being unfriendly, this self-appointed community police officer made it clear that she assumed he was deliberately mis-posting. Newsflash: many of us don't even know that there is a benefit to posting in one group over another. I see that she then went on to write a "guide for newbies," which this newbie found completely unhelpful except as a self-serving piece of judgmental rhetoric.
She went on and on in her article about how I was mistaken about the article being appropriate for Leo Finance. Maybe I am mistaken. I am new, after all.
Do I believe that a man who is probably not particularly wealthy taking photographs of one of the largest markets in West Africa and commenting with compassion about the state of mind of the people there informs us about economics? Yes, absolutely. Do I think it is censorship to police such an article and say it is not economics because it does not fit into someone's model of what an economics article should be? Also yes. That's me, though. I like an uncensored internet.
Is narrow thinking and censorship what the Hive is all about? It feels like it to this newbie, and I certainly don't say it lightly.
That being said, people seem to feel very free to express all sorts of exotic theories questioning the existence of a virus that has killed millions of people worldwide. I have been afraid to question this lest I get blacklisted or put on some sort of downvote trail. I don't really know how these things work.
I probably would not dare to write this except reading the handy newbie guide which was judgmental but unhelpful got on my very last nerve. Although I have done well for my first week, all this toxicity is sending me packing.
What I see here on Hive is a system of haves and have nots. The Haves of the Hive purport to want others to join and then, like crabs in a bucket, knock them down. This is not universal. I have met so many friendly and welcoming people. I think you know who you are.
However, I have been made to feel so uncomfortable by others. I feel I need people to vouch for me in order to justify my existence here, which is silly because my writing should stand on its own or not.
I am fortunate: My writing is reasonable. I can put it elsewhere and make a passable living from it.
You know what would be helpful for future hivers? An actual non-judgmental guide: one which does not assume people are posting in the wrong community on purpose for some nefarious reason. Some of us didn't even know there was any financial benefit to one community over another.
I understand that there is a need to help newcomers understand what is expected, so why not write some handy guides? Trust me when I tell you that it is hard to find guides or they are confusing and/or outdated. Given this situation, the classic netiquette guideline applies, "be conservative in what you do and liberal in what you accept from others." If you must correct someone, do it nicely. Be polite. Maybe actually write something kind about the person's post and suggest where they might have posted it instead.
Can a person change where something is posted or delete and repost? I still don't know. Wouldn't that be the sort of useful information you could share instead of muting someone or just writing a nasty little message about how wrong they were to post somewhere?
When I joined the internet when it was invented and made my first web page, no one told me how wrong I was. When I joined Twitter and Facebook, no one slapped me down. When I joined Reddit, Quora, Medium, well, you get the picture. I feel very uncomfortable here on Hive. No, thank you. I can feel uncomfortable on my own without all this assistance.
In the end, the only people who will stay are those too poor to leave, those who really are scammers, and those who just do not care what you have to say (no social skills). Anyone who is a good enough writer to go elsewhere will do so if they are treated this way. The only good writers who will stay are those who have really close buddies on Hive to guide them every little step of the way. Can you say clique?
I have met some great people, but this environment is just plain toxic for a newcomer at this time. If I lived in a developing nation, I would probably stick it out to feed my family. As it is, I don't think I will be here much longer. That is unfortunate because I have "met" a lot of cool people.
I just cannot shake this sick feeling I have had all week since joining, and it's caused by the people who are not so cool and the power they seem to enjoy wielding over others. I am certain very few people will read this, but I wanted to express my views.