Algorithm vs. Community? I Choose Community.

Last night, just before heading off to bed, I noticed a post in the Motherhood Community (don’t ask how I found it, I don’t remember) from @motherhood giving a challenge for folks to provide unsolicited advice to @theycallmedan and his wife @gabbygoldenxo with respect to raising their new infant son, Baby Ander.

Then I spent a couple late-night hours crafting and posting a response.

I have a personal connection with @theycallmedan, even though we have never met. It was @theycallmedan who first ‘informed me’ about Hive (via an interview he did with someone, that I stumbled across via twitter or some other social media site, several months ago).

A few months later, when my students expressed a desire to dig deeper into understanding the effects of social media on their lives, the government, and the world, I reached out to @theycallmedan and asked him to speak to my students about decentralized social media, to which he graciously agreed.

When I gave him a list of dates, he chose to speak at our first meeting of the semester (2/1/21) because he said his wife was expecting in March and he did not want to commit to anything too close to that timeframe.

Shortly after @theycallmedan engaged with my class and our Free Enterprise Society, I found myself becoming actively involved with Hive, getting to ‘know’ lots of different folks, and periodically conversing with @theycallmedan and a couple of the devs he introduced me to.

The more I interacted, the more I began developing connections with members of the Hive community (even though I do not ‘personally’ know any of them).

You see, when I saw the post from @motherhood, it wasn’t about some random challenge (even though the post involved a challenge that I was responding to), it was about my connection to some people, real people. As such, I wanted to contribute, not because some algorithm had sucked me in, but because I read a post that appealed to my sense of belonging, my sense of community, my sense of wanting to contribute meaningfully to those within that community.

That is why I voluntarily spent another couple hours composing a post recommending parenting advice to someone I have never met in person and only once ever had a voice conversation with; I ended up choosing to stay up until after 3 am even though I would still need to get up at 7:30 am to get my own kids to school.

And I felt a sense of satisfaction about sacrificing sleep to contribute.

This is such a far cry from the too many times when I have found myself staring at my twitter feed at 2 am, bleary-eyed, and wondering where the past 3 hours have gone -- wishing I could have them back!

As I tweeted several weeks ago (and subsequently pinned to my twitter profile):

#Hive is to #twitter as
#BirthdayParties are to #Funerals

Last night’s experience, for me, exemplifies that observation!

I followed the above tweet with a tweet explaining why that is so:

My point above was based on my observation that #twitter serotonin is mostly negative whereas the #Hive neuron boost is almost all positive.

Given the choice, I’m all in with the positive (and have ditched the negative -- with no regrets ).

Those of you on Hive already know this and ‘get’ it, but we need to get this message out to those on twitter, instagram, and elsewhere!


Wishing you the best, Baby Ander and @theycallmedan and @gabbygoldenxo! I willingly and consciously choose you guys over letting some algorithm choose for me!


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