Three days ago I heard of Minds for the first time at a workshop I was attending. I had to stop in and check it out. Here is a bit about me and my first impressions, and thoughts as I wander around this corner of the Internet that is new to me. I'm confused. I know there are probably lots of cool people I'd like to know and great content to find- I just don't know where to find it all yet.
Just as confused as I was the first time I started to explore Usenet groups back in 1995. In my early message board days back then, I first found a depression group where I lurked. I found people who described the darkness I suspected had been with me since my teenage years. I found people who were suffering way more than I was. In those monochrome messages on my dial-up AOL account, I found people sharing a depth of vulnerability I rarely saw in my real life. On the other side of my confusion, I found hope.
Just as confused as when I created my Twitter account in 2007. I couldn't see how in a short 140 characters that I could share or learn anything. I didn't get the point. Then I saw how real-time sharing of information could change the global perspective on events that were taking place AS they took place. I saw how I could expand my personal learning by following and interacting with educators around the US. I saw how social currency could influence elections, corporations and youth. On the other side of my confusion, I learned about the power of one voice and its use/misuse.
Just as confused as when I signed onto Facebook in 2008. I wasn't sure who cared about what I was doing at that moment or how much I cared to share. But the more I shared, the more comfortable I became. The more pictures I saw of my friends lives, the more connected we felt. My initial concerns about how my data was being used fell off my radar. I shared and indulged in what was shared. I noticed how ads became more useful; I noticed how ads overwhelmed my newsfeed; I noticed how we were being exploited. On the other side of my confusion, I found the incredible value- individually and corporately- in connecting to community.
Just as confused as when I created accounts to explore the other social media platforms that I heard of like MySpace, Tumblr, Snapchat and Instagram. Although I know they have found adoring users, they were not quite my taste. Perhaps it is that I never got past my confusion, perhaps its that I didn't make the right connections.
Right now I am confused by Minds. But in my first day here I have found a couple of interesting people to subscribe to and I have found a very interesting place to post my thoughts. I am open to learn and open to connect. Most of all, I am curious to discover what I will find on the other side of my confusion.