As I’ve thought about before, I’m learning that I’m personally more excited about ActivityPub than I am about Mastodon specifically. I’m excited about the idea of being able to use Ivory to log into my Mastodon account and talk to people using Micro.blog, Tumblr, or Threads (one day). RSS currently lets me follow many disparate sites all in one place, and email lets me communicate with people using a millions difference clients and services. I love that if I get frustrated with my RSS or email app, I can easily migrate to another and not really lose much data or inconvenience anyone else. This is what I want for social media.
So maybe there is value in Mastodon being a place that’s a little trickier to get your head around than centralized services with dedicated UX teams optimizing around frictionless experiences. Maybe that friction leads to a crowd that is more like-minded and can interact more cordially. I certainly get into debates on Mastodon, and sometimes you roll your eyes at people there, but I was once told I should kill myself because someone didn’t like the Pixel vs iPhone photo comparison I did on Twitter, so it’s not that bad.
I think friction is an excellent thing in so many places in life. If it’s just a bit hard to do, you only do it if it’s worthwhile.