Vibes and Stuff

When I was a kid we called it tweeting. No one knows what to call it now. In some ways very little has changed. in other ways everything has.

One of the delightful things about this place is how many chances there are to re-think how existing experiences operate. I'm sure this sounds like a foolish pursuit to many. Why take something that's working as well as anyone could ask for and built it all over again?

Because to others there are very good reasons for starting over. And while there are plenty of things to re-build here, I see social networking tools near the top of the list. The combination of what's possible here and the fundamental utility of the tools is too good.

It's Dave's radio all the way down.

All of this is to say, the sooner you show up the better. It will look and feel extremely familiar but don't let that spook you. While part of me wants to tell you about all that could be built, and what I want to build myself, it's more important that you participate. So today I'll attempt to the question I've been asked as recently as Saturday by one of my oldest and dearest friends. The same question I was asked in the 40404 days.

Do you recommend I try this app?

The answer to this question is absolutely. You should show up. The important thing though, in my opinion, is how you show up. That's what I want to talk about. There are behaviors we've all adopted over the years with Twitter, Instagram, and all the rest, which are no longer serving us in my opinion. And just as important as it is to rebuild those tools for this place, so too is it for all of us to rebuild those behaviors.

My advice is this: lead with vibes

Change Your Mind: Operate from the assumption that no one is out to get you. That everyone who bothers to use this tool is doing so because they default to optimism. You don't have to think this is true, just concede that you'd prefer everyone you encounter here to hold some similar belief, and thus you must act similarly.

Bring Something: Reevaluate what you think is worth putting into the wider discourse. Much of what is topical today can feel mandatory, but it's actually entirely optional. When we're at our best we are curious and interested and gregarious and chatty. This is the energy you should bring. Moreover, it is possible to be a decent human being while also checking some of your own beliefs at the door.

Find Your People: Asking for introductions is always a good idea. Human beings love to be helpful and to facilitate people being excellent to each other. As you spend time here, don't hesitate to ask them to point you in the right direction until you feel more or less at home.

Talk About Yourself: It may sometimes feel like being on social networks is supposed to be an exclusively passive activity. But if you don't ever share yourself, you're providing no opportunity for people to connect with you. So speak up. Even if it's silly, because...

You Can Pretend: There's no rule that says you need to be the person your state-issued ID says you are. At least not in this place. If you'd rather go be someone else go right ahead. Keep your true identity to yourself. Or don't. Be one way on Tuesdays and another way on Sundays. So long as you're engaging authentically and earnestly you can be a fish on a bicycle if you like.

Be Excellent to Each Other: Look for moments where you can make someone else feel good about their presence. If you never take the time to express your admiration with something more than a like or a share, you'll be leaving people a little lonely. Actually communicate to the creator of something you've enjoyed. Show appreciation.

Be Psyched: Spend your time engaging with, asking questions of, and seeking out, the ideas and people who get you going. The ones who make you laugh; who challenge your assumptions; and who make you want to keep coming back. Life can take us to challenging places, so it helps to try and return to that which brings you hope, optimism, and excitement. This also makes it easier to survive the moments when the seas get rough.

There are a handful of additional principles I've had bouncing around since before I got here. I'll dig them up sooner or later. Choosing to participate is something that I believe is best done with intention. But the important thing is to start now and improve over time. Your presence over the long run is what's most valuable.

It's a cocktail party. Just treat it that way. Be psyched. Be excellent to each other. Pretend if you want to. Talk about yourself. Find your people. And, most important, change your mind. If you show up on a regular basis, even for just fifteen minutes a day, you will develop relationships. You will learn new things. And you will enable others to get to know you.

By coming along and playing this game with me, you'll be enabling me to do one of my favorite things: introducing rad babes to one another. Plus, I'm confident you'll enjoy the experience of being at the party even without me.



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