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Author Topic: The Small Web As A Safe Space For Sharing Experiences  (Read 2366 times)
purelyconstructive
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« on: January 23, 2023 @181.64 »

Modern "social media" can seem like an unfriendly place, where one is under constant surveillance and relentlessly buffeted around by algorithms. Sometimes we need to attain equilibrium again (e.g.: by cutting down on all of the advertising and "news" within our online spaces).

I am sure that many people here gravitate towards MelonLand and similar forums for that reason. Of course, there will always be the issues of safety and privacy anywhere on the Internet (including on the "small web":wink:, but a lot of the pretense is absent here.

Along with this comfort, people not only seek out genuine connections, but also practical life advice. Where else can one go when their physical environment might be lacking? I do not have "The Answer" to that, but the following topic will be a sincere attempt to gather some of what I have found personally helpful throughout the years...



Questions

  • "I am feeling tired about life and/or find it hard to move on."

You might be suffering from "burnout". Try to ease stress and heal from any past traumas as much as possible.

  • "I am not sure what I am working toward."

You have a constructive purpose that only you can fulfill! Some organization, time management, and goal-setting methods might help to uncover it. It takes patience to create things.

  • "I am overwhelmed by information."

Develop a sense of logical reasoning and break down complex subject matter into usable bits. Find some study methods that work for you. Be self-motivated in your learning.

  • "How do I survive when I have little?"

Make sure that you get enough nutrition by managing your resources well. When one lacks access to healthcare, herbalism and basic first-aid are also helpful skills to have.

If you are trying to find somewhere to stay, please be careful.

  • "I have trouble talking with people."

It may be helpful to learn some communication strategies.

In general, interpersonal relationships, especially romantic ones, can be difficult sometimes. That is especially true if we lack an understanding of what types of feelings and behaviors are associated with "love", and haven't carefully considered the aspects that make up long-term commitments like "marriage".



...So, my friends, what information have you picked up from the small web that has made a constructive impact on your life outside of the Internet?
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« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2023 @639.99 »

A certain hobby has gotten pretty popular online over the last decade or so that eventually I took it up and converted it into a career.

Worldbuilding, as in creating fantasy worlds, and by extension conlanging, which is the art of constructing plausible or artistic languages from scratch, led me,to study linguistics and pursue a degree there.
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« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2023 @682.58 »

This is a great resource - I pinned it because it might be helpful for others in the future!

Id actually like to add a few words about "If you are trying to find somewhere to stay, please be careful." and small web communities in general.

Small communities can be tricky; they are cozy and nice, but they can also become too close knit and even oppressive; I try very hard to keep this forum away from becoming a clique (thats why we ban in jokes, acronyms etc) - but all small communities are cliques to some extent.

Someone reading this will inevitably have a disagreement with me or someone else here and will feel the need to leave this forum - its important that you are not left isolated if that happens! So my advice is to be an active member in many diverse communities across many areas of interest, don't put all your eggs in one basket! I hope this forum adds a lot to your lives, but no single community can be your whole social world, thats not healthy for you or the community :ohdear:

You don't owe anything to a community; you don't have to agree with their ideas, you don't have to always be active, and you don't have to partake in everything they do - being part of a community should feel casual and noncommittal; it should be fun and have little or no pressure; it should be a place where you can relax and be yourself (within the bounds of what kind of community it is) - and if the vibe starts to feel bad, don't ignore that - when it comes to relationships (whether they are friends, communities or romances) if the vibe is bad then something is wrong! Sometimes you can work it out, sometimes you cant - its ok to step back if you need too and in a healthy relationship others should understand that.

Ultimately, each part of your online life, is just one small part of your life - it's filled with imperfect people and plenty of mistakes and disagreements - thats good and a community without conflict is a boring place indeed; just remember to step back and get some perspective - the world is large and diverse, and you'll have a much happier time if you can laugh at troubles and let them go :grin:
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« Reply #3 on: February 04, 2023 @27.87 »

I was browsing Internet Archive while high and I saw something that made me sick. I reported it via emailing them but it made me realize that it doesn't seem possible to report an entire user on archive.org. You can only report posts, and there was no way I was going through that (very illegal) content. It should be easier to report stuff like that. Anyway my high is ruined.
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Cele
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« Reply #4 on: March 20, 2023 @369.80 »

and by extension conlanging, which is the art of constructing plausible or artistic languages from scratch

Ahh I do conlanging too!

I think the best thing in my life that has come from this stuff is just. Making websites, honestly. I have lost my excitement for most of my hobbies so I am glad at least working on the websites makes me feel excited. Includes browsing other people's websites too etc.
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« Reply #5 on: March 20, 2023 @583.56 »

Ahh I do conlanging too!

I just noticed at some point that conlang research basically required me to study all the linguistics basics already so I ended up doing a degree and got a job out of it.
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Cele
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« Reply #6 on: March 20, 2023 @635.30 »

I just noticed at some point that conlang research basically required me to study all the linguistics basics already so I ended up doing a degree and got a job out of it.

My original plan was to go into linguistics too but, some stuff happened and I thought it's just better for me not to move, no linguistics study in his town so I went to IT field. But I've always told myself: if you wanna continue studying something later, you can :grin: Well, it's difficult to choose between languages, culture research and history :3
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« Reply #7 on: May 30, 2023 @284.29 »

Worldbuilding

Oh that's my niche hobby as well, I'm more into study in geography, pedology, biology & history in general instead of linguistics though.
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« Reply #8 on: May 30, 2023 @733.55 »

This is a great resource - I pinned it because it might be helpful for others in the future!

Id actually like to add a few words about "If you are trying to find somewhere to stay, please be careful." and small web communities in general.

Small communities can be tricky; they are cozy and nice, but they can also become too close knit and even oppressive; I try very hard to keep this forum away from becoming a clique (thats why we ban in jokes, acronyms etc) - but all small communities are cliques to some extent.

Someone reading this will inevitably have a disagreement with me or someone else here and will feel the need to leave this forum - its important that you are not left isolated if that happens! So my advice is to be an active member in many diverse communities across many areas of interest, don't put all your eggs in one basket! I hope this forum adds a lot to your lives, but no single community can be your whole social world, thats not healthy for you or the community :ohdear:

You don't owe anything to a community; you don't have to agree with their ideas, you don't have to always be active, and you don't have to partake in everything they do - being part of a community should feel casual and noncommittal; it should be fun and have little or no pressure; it should be a place where you can relax and be yourself (within the bounds of what kind of community it is) - and if the vibe starts to feel bad, don't ignore that - when it comes to relationships (whether they are friends, communities or romances) if the vibe is bad then something is wrong! Sometimes you can work it out, sometimes you cant - its ok to step back if you need too and in a healthy relationship others should understand that.

Ultimately, each part of your online life, is just one small part of your life - it's filled with imperfect people and plenty of mistakes and disagreements - thats good and a community without conflict is a boring place indeed; just remember to step back and get some perspective - the world is large and diverse, and you'll have a much happier time if you can laugh at troubles and let them go :grin:

I think this is pretty solid advice! I like the way you approach thinking about communities, it's important to actively work to avoid your community turning into a high pressure group that isolates its members and it sounds like you care a lot about that! Any community is vulnerable to that danger so I believe it's important to be aware of what kind of space you're creating or facilitating.

I spent years on tumblr leading up to the content ban, and found it incredibly toxic to be in the spaces I wound up in. Some of the language and attitudes I was surrounded by in retrospect feel a bit too close to high pressure tactics for my comfort. Lots of guilt tripping over what you do and don't post, a sense of surveillance (even if you weren't actually being watched by your followers/mutuals, you could never know for sure), people taking advantage of high stakes social issues to gain social clout, potential social consequences for enjoying the "wrong" media, or not enjoying it the way they wanted you to, hypocrisy run amok, bigotry disguised as accountability, etc. It's taught me how unhealthy a really strict approach to moralism within a social space can be, no matter the philosophy or how "right" they technically may be. I went from growing up in a fundamentalist environment to taking refuge in a really socially strict leftist one and I found the latter almost as harmful as the former. I've learned to let go a little and I believe that it's okay for you and people in your group to be imperfect and not constantly trying to prove that you're not bad people. I'm so glad those attitudes aren't nearly as common in irl spaces, but I think it's important to make sure not to track that mud outside.
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Y2KStardust
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« Reply #9 on: June 04, 2023 @595.95 »

One thing I've thought of with what Melon said is that like.. more people should treat internet-friends like IRL friends. Not just in the 'they're real friends' sense, but in the realm of 'different friends for different things' or 'different LEVELS of friends' thinking.
You don't call a work colleague a friend all the time, sometimes they're just a colleague - and it's ok for some people on your friends list online to be similar!
I feel like people worry that they have to know everyone that they're friends with on a platform PERSONALLY and like.. it's ok to just send a friend req because you think they're cool, or to let a conversation naturally peter out a little bit.
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starbreaker
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« Reply #10 on: July 15, 2023 @141.96 »

One thing I've thought of with what Melon said is that like.. more people should treat internet-friends like IRL friends. Not just in the 'they're real friends' sense, but in the realm of 'different friends for different things' or 'different LEVELS of friends' thinking.
You don't call a work colleague a friend all the time, sometimes they're just a colleague - and it's ok for some people on your friends list online to be similar!
I feel like people worry that they have to know everyone that they're friends with on a platform PERSONALLY and like.. it's ok to just send a friend req because you think they're cool, or to let a conversation naturally peter out a little bit.

I agree. In the real world we have acquaintances, friends, close friends, friends with benefits, friends who will help us dispose of a body, lovers, family, relatives, etc. There are things I'd tell a close friend that I wouldn't tell a friend. There are things I'd tell a trusted friend that I wouldn't tell my wife. However, most social media platforms follow the Facebook model, which promotes "context collapse" because you either share everything with everybody identified as one of your "friends" or you don't share at all. This is what we get for letting techies get away with thinking that human social relationships and interactions can be reduced to third normal form and stuffed into a relational database.

For all its failings, Google at least tried with Circles in Google+. You didn't have to treat everybody as a "friend".
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Cele
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« Reply #11 on: August 29, 2023 @588.03 »

it should be fun and have little or no pressure; it should be a place where you can relax and be yourself (within the bounds of what kind of community it is) - and if the vibe starts to feel bad, don't ignore that

Funny to find this post again now. Vibes have definitely started feeling bad. Like how people will link to each other based on if they're "mutuals" on Neocities profiles, proper social media style. I read a comment recently from someone whose website is not on Neocities who said that Neocities sites can feel clique-y, like it's not really a "web" community when it's very difficult to join if you're not on Neocities. I had never thought of that before, but after thinking, I realized that this is true. The places where people can find your site from, if not the Neocities directory, become pretty sparse.

Also there is nothing safe about "small web".
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Melooon
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« Reply #12 on: August 29, 2023 @603.78 »

The places where people can find your site from, if not the Neocities directory, become pretty sparse.
I think the Neocities bubble is very real! But its also imaginary - there is no force that requires anyone to be on Neocities other than the desire to interact with Neocities itself (e.g. to be on that website list)

As for what people say; well people say all sorts of things; really all that matters is the experience you make for yourself, the same goes for, safety online, (even on places like this forum where a lot of effort it put into it) its ultimately self constructed and only exists within the bounds of what you decide feels correct!

When I wrote that, it was very much about friendships, personal mental states and bubbles like Discord chats; it sounds like you might have found yourself in that kinda space; if so, its a good time to reassess! You can get angry at bubbles and unhappy vibes, but that doesn't accomplish much; I would say, if a group or service doesn't work for you; then you should try to create the alternative that you think is missing - diversity and action are always the best remedies :4u:
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« Reply #13 on: October 08, 2023 @982.53 »

about the friends/social groups topic, as im really bad at starting conversation irl, i find small groups online to be easier to get into, thanks to shared interests being the main reason they exist, but sadly this lowkey warped how i socialize irl too, making it so chatting about something wich wasnt alredy one of my interests difficult and it sort of still is, ((i say "sort of" mainly because of how many interest i have now wich i didnt have before , many of them kinda aligning with more general topics of conversation)).

I belive i went a little off topic here, but what i wanted to say is that, niche groups and/or "clique's", can be both good and bad, since having somewhere to talk and make friends is good, but its also bad because it can make it difficult to chat about something not related to what made it begin in the first place, many times people will just straight up leave once the original topic is not the main focus of the group ((even though it is impossible to always keep one thing the main focus in many places because of how people tend to change)), this is related to some of the posts above , that its important to understand that people wont always align with what you like, and that your interests may differ a lot in some areas, but irl this is not as much of a problem as it is online, and thats wrong because , people online are still people. and should be treated the same.

As i read this i feel like im repeating myself and talking nonsenese , sorry about that, i just wanted to put a little opinion in there, and it branched out a bit too much  :ohdear:
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