A social network for Reformed Christians
We don’t have a shortage of complaints against the popular social media platforms. If you have a few of your own, you’re left with the following options. First, you could continue using them despite the problems. Second, you could quit social media altogether. Third, you could choose an alternative.
While I will never argue against the second option, I’d like to suggest the latter. What if we had a social network that was decentralized, non-profit, community-owned, and ad-free?
The thing is, we do. It’s called Mastodon.
What is Mastodon?
Mastodon is a microblogging social network similar to Twitter. Unlike Twitter, however, it is community-owned and ad-free. You can post relatively brief updates and view a timeline of updates from those you follow. You also receive notifications when someone replies to you or sends a message.
The language is a bit different on Mastodon. Tweets, which have a 280-character limit, are called toots, and they have a 500-character limit. Retweets are called boosts. Likes are called favorites.
Mastodon is what you would get if Twitter and email had a child. It’s decentralized, which means an endless number of Mastodon instances (also called servers) can exist. You choose which instance to join, much like choosing an email provider, and your instance can communicate with every other instance. In fact, your username will look like an email address. Rather than being @yourname, it will be @[email protected]
Allow me to borrow some copy from Mastodon’s website.
Find your perfect community
Mastodon isn’t a single website like Twitter or Facebook. It’s a network of thousands of servers operated by different organizations and individuals to provide a seamless, pleasant social media experience.
Safer social media
Mastodon comes with effective anti-abuse tools to help protect yourself. Thanks to the network’s spread out and independent nature, there are more moderators whom you can approach for personal help and servers with strict codes of conduct.
Free of ads and algorithms
Without an incentive to sell you things, not to mention your personal data, Mastodon allows you to consume content you enjoy uninterrupted. Your feed is chronological, ad-free, and non-algorithmic. You decide who and what you want to see.
How does one join Mastodon?
Since Mastodon is not a single corporate-owned silo, you begin by choosing an instance. Typically, you will select an instance based on your interests and likely tooting habits. Then, visit the homepage of the instance you chose and register.
Once you’re approved, assuming approval is required, you can edit your profile—display name, bio, header, avatar—fine-tune all the settings available to you, and begin posting.
Introducing 1689 Fellowship
For my particular audience, I’ll point you to what is most likely your ideal instance of Mastodon. It’s called 1689 Fellowship, a social media alternative for the Reformed Christian community and their friends.
While 1689 Fellowship is a gathering place for Reformed Christians, whose beliefs are best expressed by the London Baptist Confession or Westminster Confession of Faith, you do not need to affirm the entirety of either confession to join. Obviously, the core membership will be Christians of the Reformed persuasion, but everyone is welcome as long as they follow the rules. Namely, no persistent antagonism or disrespect, no profanity or explicit media, and no spam.
1689 Fellowship is now up and running. You’re welcome to register. I’d be thrilled to have you join me.
Reply to email@example.com.