“Where can I find you? Twitter, insta?”

Their look was priceless when I responded, “Mastodon and Matrix.”

My beef with mainstream social media

I hate mainstream social media. It feels like a purpose-built machine designed to perfectly orchestrate my adrenaline, dopamine, seratonin, and cortisol in the most addictive way possible. I grew up as a Facebook kid (I was born in the late 90s), and I always felt like it brought out the worst in people.

Of course, as I explored other platforms, I started seeing other glaring issues. Some of these issues are common to most platforms, especially privacy issues, unethical moderation, polarizing content, and so on. I looked past most of these issues, giving preference to the convenience and utility of the platforms. But the platforms I used to enjoy have really started to irk me recently. Facebook got overrun by super political (and often hateful) content, Twitter is full of polarized garbage, Instagram feels so phony, TikTok is annoying as hell, Reddit got greedy, I don’t have enough friends to make Snapchat fun, and so on.

What makes the fediverse better?

Like many others, I slowly migrated to the fediverse as I began to get bummed out about other social media. I was skeptical at first, but I’ve really started to enjoy a few platforms.

There are a few fundamental differences that make the fediverse much more appealing.

Platform incentives

Unlike traditional social media, these federated platforms don’t make their money from advertising and selling your data. Most of these platforms are fueled entirely by donations and contributions from people who care about them. Where a traditional platform is incentivized to add a feature that hurts usability but improves profits, federated platforms aren’t.

User incentives

These platforms are mostly focused on equitable conversation. I’m not incentivized to fill the platform with garbage or post polarizing content for a couple of reasons: (1) polarizing or hateful content just doesn’t get much attention on these platforms, and (2) there’s no money to be made.

In short, federated platforms feel like they’re made to generate sincerity, while traditional platforms feel like they’re made to generate ad clicks and user data.


Most federated platforms are open-source and have a large development community. There are a lot of eyes on the code, and users who feel very passionately about a feature can add it themselves.

Democratic conversation

Free speech is much better protected on federated platforms because moderation usually happens per-instance. If you don’t like how your server moderates content, you can move to another.

Alternative clients

Federated platforms have a huge offering of alternative front-end clients. These apps and tools are independently designed and developed, and many are open-source. This is a huge usability and accessibility improvement over traditional media.

My favorite platforms

There are a few offerings. These are my favorites; feel free to add me on them!

Matrix: Chat platform (kind of like Discord)

Chat me at @landon:utwente.io

Mastodon: Microblogs (kind of like Twitter)

Visit me at @mossbiscuits@mastodon.social

Lemmy: Forums (kind of like Reddit)

View my posts at @mossbiscuits@lemmy.m