I'd like to meander a bit through quietness. I value quietness, stillness, reflection, contemplation. A moment to pause.

That's not easy in a noisy world. It's not easy in a world of constant content generation. Words pushed out, extruded from the complex cookie cutter of what came before. Do words mean anything anymore?

I've been troubled recently by thinking how to contribute, how to speak, in a world that is overwhelmingly loud. (In other non-anonymized worlds, I am loquacious, playing the role, out there doing the thing that one does.) A moment on social media is deafening with all the shouters, the “look at me!”, the “hey, pay me to influence you!” Linkedin has been my particular eye strain recently. It's not just the pinterest-ified work/life shares and stories, but also the wagging admonition and advising, that is truly insufferable.

I grow more misanthropic the older I get, I know.

How do you have a quiet conversation? I don't need a thousand followers. I don't want a thousand followers. I don't really care about the hollowness such things.

And yet... I know things. I know some very technical things, things with value and perspective that others don't have. I find myself growing ugly. “I know more about this than those morons.” “I can write better than those hacks.” “Is everyone just cut and pasting ChatGPT shit nowadays?”

And I hate them. I hate them so much because they won't shut the fuck up. Do they listen? Do they ever listen?

It's like the worst of high school social culture vomited all over the internet.

What if the internet were not made of producers and consumers, but listeners? ACTIVE listeners. Not sheep, not “followers”, not “likers”. Would that make any sense?

What if platforms cultivated listening and reflection? How would that work exactly? Or does everything just devolve to the active yapper / silent majority split? Is that too niche? What are the alternatives to the users and abusers out there? Is there a quiet version of the internet — or is that just what used to be Mastodon (before the great migration) or the geeky corners where small bands don't care about being on the radar. Is that where all the introverts hang? In the corners, like in real life, hoping not to get noticed by too many people but maybe, just maybe, get noticed by the right people, the like minded, someone else who might fancy a quiet chat, over here in this corner, where we can hear ourselves think.