Blog / 2022 / Why You Might Want to Join Mastodon (Or Why I’m Happy I Did)

July 19, 2022

For my birthday this year, I steam-cleaned my studio rugs and bought a bunch of fancy fermented vegan cheeses. It was the perfect celebration of my 41 years on this planet, but it also struck me as a little bit funny. I mean, it’s not like at 21 years old I’d have seen pristine carpet along with plant-based milk products and thought: “now that’s a party!”

An idea popped into my head, reminding me of early social media. I could make a game of my 41 year old fuddy-duddiness by describing what I’d done and asking people to guess my age, promising stickers in the mail if they got close.

I wasn’t thinking of doing this on Instagram or Facebook, which I’ve long since deleted, and, seeing as I’m in the midst of quitting Twitter, I wasn’t going to do it there either. Nope!

The inspiration for this bit of social media silliness was Mastodon, a community-owned ad-free anti-algorithm social networking site that I joined a few months ago. Mastodon’s old-school structure and unique manner of fascism-proofing its communities was bringing out a webby kind of playfulness I hadn’t felt in years.

In the end, just three of people responded to my game. I gleefully sent them stickers, and, though few things please me more, that wasn’t even the best part. The artist Aimee Cozza saw the post a few days after the game ended and asked to do a sticker exchange with me.

Gwenn Seemel stickers, posted on Mastodon by Aimee Cozza
screenshot of Mastodon

After receiving my goodies, Aimee looked up my site, mistyping it with one “n” as gwenseemel instead of gwennseemel and landing on a “buy this URL” page instead of my home page. She emailed me to tell me what she’d done and suggest that I buy the one “n” version in order to forward it to the correct address.

Who knows what new delicious connections her suggestion will bring me in the future? How many people who might otherwise have bounced after one unsuccessful try will now still be arriving on my site?

Because that’s the thing about Masodon. It’s doing what other social media platforms used to do. It’s supercharging my ability to connect with strangers. I’d forgotten how lovely that feels without all the hateful yuckiness that the corporate sites bring with them.

stickers and pins by Aimee Cozza
stickers and pins by Aimee Cozza

Thank you Mastodon and Aimee, for the stickers and pins as well as for the help with my marketing!

Maybe this post made you think of something you want to share with me? Or perhaps you have a question about my art? I’d love to hear from you!


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