Happy is the most valuable online currency.
Especially if it’s happy in spite of obstacles and most lauded if its overcome suffering.
I’m not sure people don’t want to read serious stuff about sexuality — there’s much serious stuff here which does get circulated. It’s partly about catching the attention of someone in the inner circle, The Medium Hub Club, or someone else organized in their own ‘clubs.’ But I think the bite is how far folks can handle dealing with Medium reflexively, as a reflection of real life that touches and effects us.
Many of the stories I see gain lots of likes are techtopia-focused, e.g., Eric Schmidt’s open letter about Jigsaw or poignant exposes of some horribly painful autobiograpical event — or challenges to the institutional conditions that perpetuate and enable said atrocities to continue (e.g., writings by Those People). Personally, I appreciate reading both ‘types’ of stories but experience them as one-offs, that is, as self-contained communiques not intended to have relational import, only informational impact.
The world is chock full of such artifacts.
From a critical discourse analytic, what seems to be swirling are a bunch of (mostly white) techies riding the bubble of self-fulfillment and showing off their great party with trickle-down promises of do-gooderness to come. Their happiness is like a badge of honor. Then there’s the emergent tip of resistance from the #BlackLivesMatter movement, showing the way for all the other movements and embracing their causes, too. Happiness there is a kind of defiance. It might also be armor.
The Medium (as you called it, Tim Barrus) is a groovy little platform where everyone gets enough airtime to expose these segregated patterns.
In and of itself, that’s a kind of progress — the data is transparent (or could be). Medium’s members and audience seems capable of substantive engagement but are caught up (as we all are, in ways both subtle and deliberate) in the information economy’s primary imperatives: speed speed speed. If we’re all going too fast, we’re excused from not paying attention, aren’t we?
Out of mind, sure. But the social consequences linger and multiply.
I want to be happy too, btw. I’m not knocking the emotion! It’s the display that can be problematic.