Rant: I hate the term “normie”.

Posted this in a small community, curious to know what everyone here thinks.

Let me preface by saying, I would love to hear counter points and am fully open to the fact that I could be wrong and totally out of touch. I just want to have some dialogue around something that’s been bothering me in the fediverse.

More and more often I keep hearing people refer to “normies”. I think by referring to other people as “normies”, whether you intend to or not, you inadvertently gatekeep and create an exclusive environment rather than an inclusive one in the fediverse.

If I was not that familiar with the fediverse and decided to check it out and the first thing I read was a comment about “normies”, I would quite honestly be very put off. It totally has a negative connotation and doesn’t even encapsulate any one group. I just read a comment about someone grouping a racist uncle and funny friend into the same category of normie because they aren’t up to date on the fediverse or super tech savvy or whatever.

I don’t want to see any Meta bs in the fediverse. I barely want to see half of the stuff from Reddit in the fediverse. I don’t want to see the same echo chamber I do everywhere else.

I do want to see more users and more perspectives and a larger user base though. I want to see kindness and compassion. I want to talk to people about topics they are interested in. I want to have relevant discussions without it dissolving into some commentary on some unrelated hot topic thing.

I think calling people normies creates a more toxic, exclusive place which I personally came here to avoid.

Just my two cents! I know for most people using the term it isn’t meant to be malicious, but I think it comes off that way.

Love to hear all of your thoughts.

leecalvin,

There’s always going to be groups of people who are not “in the know” and clueless about certain things, they are known as normies. I don’t see why it’s bad to label them. People use jargon and labels to facilitate discussion and people being ignorant on certain things like the Fediverse is on them, at least by this point.

RobotToaster,

Counterpoint: having the appearance of exclusivity is usually a good way to grow.

Gmail originally grew because you needed an invite, so seemed like anyone with one was in an “exclusive club”, bluesky is using the same technique.

grady77,

Yeah I can get behind that. I think it’s a separate conversation though.

(Also, I remember when I got my Gmail invite waaaay back in the day)

hetscop,
hetscop avatar

I just read a comment about someone grouping a racist uncle and funny friend into the same category of normie because they aren’t up to date on the fediverse or super tech savvy or whatever.

Hey, I think that was my comment!

What I was trying to say is that the barrier of entry for joining the fediverse is too high for some people, and one appeal of threads is that people who wouldn't otherwise join might, so in my mind I was doing the opposite of gatekeeping! It was a normie-positive comment, if you will (although not without caveats).

I was also using the term somewhat ironically although maybe this didn't come through well. People have different connotations with words and I can't expect everyone to share my connotations.

What I think is important isn't the exact wording (if I hadn't written "normie" I would have used a different word to refer to people who wouldn't otherwise join the fediverse) but to not use your fediverse instance as a way to build some sort of upside down social pyramid where you use your outsidernes as a status symbol against people who are well-adjusted irl. This happening or not happening isn't contingent on a certain word being used or not, although arguably normie is a word that has strong enough negative associations to push people away. I don't have those associations with that word so that doesn't ring true for me, but as I said, not everyone has the same connocations.

grady77,

Ohhh I see I see! I am really glad you commented and explained that. That makes total sense and I did not think you meant it in a negative way, I think that it’s the perception of it to a large amount of people is probably negative. Including me, but I guess that’s where context comes in like some other people have been saying.

I get your point now. I just don’t like grouping the two example peoples into one category because I think they are inherently vastly different. Again, I think it really is perception.

And we are definitely in agreement with you last paragraph and the upside down social pyramid.

hetscop,
hetscop avatar

Hey, glad to hear that we're mostly on the same page!

I should clarify that I'm just grouping fun friends and racist uncles together in the sense that they're both groups of people who might only join the fediverse through threads in the forseable future. This is obviously a very hetrogenous groups so it's not surprising that it contains very different kinds of people.

FrostBolt,
FrostBolt avatar

It's a useful term, particularly for subcultures

Saturdaycat,
Saturdaycat avatar

I agree it's definitely toxic behavior, it's coming from a place of "I can't fit in with what society expects of me" so therefore it's Us VS Them again. I do say it IRL to only close people to express my preference for the more obscure things, but I know where it comes from. It comes from a place of "normal" people can't understand me because all my life I was ridiculed for being different, so it's a proven fact.

Now just casually tossing that around online shows to me it is truly coming from a place of the inability to let go of concepts or spaces that felt safer to you until the "normal" adjusted person decided to also take up that seat next to you. It sucks because sometimes you just want a group of like-minded people, talking about topics you also truly enjoy without being watched by those that may have given you hardships in your past.

However this is something to address internally, and not harm or curse at others once they come at your doorstep. It really is a losing situation for some people, but at the same time that's a mental health battle they need to battle with themselves.

AnalogyAddict,

Anyone who uses that term is immediately labeled an incel in my mind, and I block them.

leecalvin,

You would block Luke Smith?!

GunnarRunnar, (edited )

I find it hard to take people who use the term "normie" without a hint of irony or self-deprecation seriously.

stopthatgirl7, (edited )
stopthatgirl7 avatar

Tangentially related, but I’m really put off by a lot of the negativity I’m starting to see on kbin. I kind of feel like, can we leave that over on Reddit? Maybe I’ve been spoiled by Mastodon, which doesn’t have the same almost aggressive toxicity I’m starting to see over here. I’ve stopped posting some things to magazines (specifically the gaming magazine) just because I know folks will take it as an excuse to be toxic.

Unless we want the worst of Reddit to come here, it needs to be discouraged now.

Domille,

I noticed the same, but only in the last couple of days. Seems there is tons more toxicity and I wonder if it’s reddit’s astroturfing to blame.

stopthatgirl7,
stopthatgirl7 avatar

It is a really recent thing, isn’t it? I’ve been on kbin since the Blackout, and this feels like it’s only been in the last week or so.

And the people being toxic really aren’t talking kindly to people asking them to not be. I actually started wondering if maybe kbin isn’t the place for me in the last week, and I’d never thought that before.

Domille,

i mean, if it is reddit astroturfing, which I would not be surprised if it was, it would mean they succeeded. Good thing we have the block button here.

stopthatgirl7,
stopthatgirl7 avatar

Hopefully, they’ve fixed it. I blocked people, but still got notifications of their replies. I couldn’t see the replies on the post, but the notification sat there until I cleared all of them out.

!deleted201250,

deleted_by_author

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  • stopthatgirl7,
    stopthatgirl7 avatar

    Any recommendations?

    Kaldo,
    Kaldo avatar

    People really are trying to get upset over the most inane and irrelevant stuff, this shouldn't be a platform where everyone just rants about their pet-peeves - that's what twitter is for.

    quizzicl,
    quizzicl avatar

    A suspicion I've had is that any community that's based around not being or liking something (like religion, or cars) will start exhibiting toxic behavior more quickly than ones that do not (humanism or urbanism, to mirror my previous examples). Since kbin and lemmy are at the moment unfortunately pretty defined by not liking Reddit, it's becoming a one-uppance of who can push against the 'normie' Reddit and Thread users more than actually building a sustainable community. I'm not certain how to combat that, except to learn to 'let go'?

    Candelestine,

    Only thing you have wrong is that it is inadvertent. Normies are the mentally healthy and socially well adjusted, and the gatekeeping against them is not accidental in the slightest.

    And tbf, an outsized amount of the internets truly amazing content does not come from them. It comes from the more ostracized, those that have to spend time here because they’re not well enough to actually be around real people.

    It’s not a healthy habit to gatekeep, and they usually already know that. But, when normies invade a space it can change the tone incredibly quickly, so, the inner conflict will always probably remain a little bit.

    It’s complicated. Just try to remember if you have things like friends, loving family and a life, some people can just tell and they utterly hate you for it. Even if they try not to be too mean about it. It’s not personal.

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