The internet is not built for brains.

The internet is not built for brains.

You know what feature would make sense to have online for mind-sanity? A toggle that disables all comments or interactions on your posts, and enables them again when you toggle it on. So if you are really not in the mood to reply to any comments, or see any notifications, then the saner is to stop the comments or the interactions. Not to hide them from you, when you know that they are there. But to stop them entirely. That’s the piece of mind I’d like to experience from time to time.

Also, when you present something in-person, usually you give a speech/presentation, the ones interested listen, and at the end you do a Q&A for a few minutes. You select a few who are interested to ask questions, and engage with them for a limited time.

That’s sane for the one giving the lecture. A human cannot cope with more than a few people poking at them with questions.

And yet online we do not have these features. If I publish a video or a book, then even 10 more thoughtful questions can draw hours or days of your life in terms of back and forth engagement.

This is not healthy.

I do a lot of digital stuff (these “presentations”) and what I do is not very popular at all, and yet even I get overwhelmed quickly when 3-4 people start to comment all at once and reply, and comment, and reply, and you try to joggle between them. If you want to engage with those who poke at you with questions and points, then it is truly overwhelming. This is why there are no comment features for our books on tromsite.com. If we release a book we will do a TROMcast about it and that’s the Q&A for like a few hours. And I can get mentally ready for that. And you can come there and express your criticism. Simple and sane.

The paradox is that I’d rather see thousands of comments because that would make me ignore them all, rather than a few that somehow I feel obliged to reply to.

I would like to be able to post a video/book or make a long post, and close the comments entirely, or have them open for like the first day or two. This way I can keep myself a lot more relaxed and sane, and those who want to engage with me can still do it, in a saner way. Because you see, you may think that I cannot handle criticism or whatever if I would close the comments, but the reason is 180 degrees to the other direction: I want to be able to properly engage with those who disagree, and I cannot do that if more than 5 people disagree with me at the same time.

Imagine you give a presentation in front of an audience. And after it is done tens of people start to yell questions and criticism at you all at once. This is chaos! But that’s the Internet!

The Internet is a bazaar. A marketplace. Where comments are not just “comments”, they are “engagements” and thus a measure of the trading power of a video. More of that may mean more currency or other products in return. Success online means more. More likes, more views, more shares, more people shouting about what you do. And no one dares to stop people from commenting because they lose a trade advantage, Youtube and other platforms, monitor such “engagements” and based on that and other measurements, they will boost or not your video. And since most humans are there to trade their content, then they won’t want to stop people from commenting for this reason alone. We see trade affecting everything indeed. We can’t have nice things when what drives us is to trade trade trade.

If we were to focus on the content and the interaction only, the we would invent and prioritize such tools to make it easier for those who create and publicize content, to engage with those who want to criticize their work.

And yes you can disable comments on youtube, and maybe other platforms allow that too. Yes you can create your own website and not allow any comments, but on the fediverse for example and on many other networks, you cannot do this. And I am talking about more than just those options, I am talking about the ability to easily mute all of your digital presence, and to be able to do so for a period of time too (an hour, a day, a week, whatever) and re-enable it afterwards. I am talking about how the Internet is not designed with this in mind, and that’s my most important point.

Funny enough while I was writing this post I got 4 more comments in the notification area:
#tromlive
That after I replied to several not long ago. It is like being interrupted while writing for a presentation, and after you publish it you get the usual: all comments at once chaos. Not a good way to treat human minds.

Please don’t be put off by this post of mine. Comment, is fine. If I get bothered I won’t reply or ignore you and such. It is not the best set of tools at all, but then I also not want to make you, whoever you are, concerned that if you comment you bother me. At times you will, but until we have better tools it is what it is. And not all comments are bothersome of course, mostly those that disagree with what you posted, since they require an answer from you….

But damn….would be so amazing to be able to truly silence your online presence and no one to be able to comment or whatever on any of your posts, videos, and so on. To at least have that ability. How great that would be…..

#tromlive

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