As I start to dream and think about online spaces and communities I want to partake in, or create, (or… have created already—hey stardew.city) I’ve been hearing more, and seeing more from folks I follow about boundaries in online spaces. You have the right to set boundaries for yourself in offline spaces and the same applies to an online space: your personal page, pages or other spaces you manage (brands, art, etc.) or are otherwise a part of, texting/messaging, groups, or whatever. The instantaneous “connection” to others from following them online, or the ability to have instant access to them through DMs or a messenger username, can lead to overfamiliarity and the crossing of boundaries.
I have been targeted online and harassed, and with having already had PTSD from the crossing of boundaries and violation offline I am particularly sensitive to this issue. I left a lot of corporate/popular social media because of harassment, and even if my new online spaces I see issues all of the time related to privacy, consent, and the inability to curate a space with boundaries in mind. Not being able to turn off direct messages, different inboxes in direct messages, no adequate block feature, privacy settings for posts, a note section or other tracking/organizing ability to keep track of blocking or messages or reports, a proper Code of Conduct for users… Taking the time to think about harassment and bad actors and other predatory people when developing your tools and spaces is so important, but I digress.
From these experiences, the need to communicate my own personal boundaries and expectations in my space has become more important. Especially, when so much of our world is able to try to access us from the palm of our hand or in another room on a larger computer, it’s important to think about who can and should have access to you all of the time (it can be no one!), how often you’re able and willing to respond (it doesn’t have to be daily!), and when you’re going to disconnect for a while (you should take the time to do it!). So, what I’m going to attempt to do is outline my boundaries and expectations of others in my online spaces—what I will and will not tolerate, addressing familiarity, addressing access to me, addressing both new people in my space and people who know me from other online or offline spaces, re-sharing content, and who knows what else. I will do my best to break them down into categories or sections~!
Following and Familiarity
If you decide to follow me, please know I might not follow you back, even if we know each other from offline or other online spaces. It’s likely nothing personal, just me exercising my desire to curate online spaces the way I’d like them to be. You may think you know me (or not), but please don’t take that as an invitation to make statements and assumptions about me. I show different parts of myself in different spaces, I have grown and learned and continue to do so daily. I am not the most open or vulnerable person, so your thoughts and assumptions about me may be wrong unless we’ve explicitly talked about the issue together, or I’ve posted in length about it.
All I ask is that you do not spite follow or follow me to keep tabs on me. If things I post make you upset or uncomfortable, you’re not obligated to stay following me just because we know each other elsewhere. You’re always free to unfollow, I won’t be offended.
Comments and Direct Messages
I reserve the right to block, restrict, delete comments, or do whatever else I feel is necessary to remove people from my space. If you’re spreading misinformation or bigotry, you’ll likely be on the receiving end of any or all of those methods. If you’re here to troll, harass, or just be annoying you’ll also likely be on the receiving end of a block or have other restrictions placed.
If you want to talk about posts or information I’ve shared or posted: that’s great. If I am sharing misinformation, sharing content from, or interacting with someone who is known to be harmful please let me know!
I am open to learning, discussion, sharing resources, and rethinking, but I will not be fighting about or debating anything. I know my perspective is limited for many reasons, but I do my best to listen and learn, and I do my best not to speak about things I know little about. I would appreciate kindness and patience, just as I hope to extend the same to you.
Please know I may not answer, for a variety of reasons. I may not have seen it or I may not have the time or energy. Verbalizing (even with the time I can take with a typed response) is often difficult for me. Words get jumbled and lost, I have a hard time processing information sometimes.
Sharing and Support
If there’s something I’ve created that you want to share, please use the sharing tool in the app directly from my page (FB, Instagram, retweeting/boosting, whatever). You do not need to tag me if you use these methods.
If you’re sharing a post I’ve made on your page, or somewhere else please tag me! I would appreciate a tag on the image itself, as well as a tag within the text of the post. If tagging is not an option please link directly to the original post.
If you’d like to treat me or support me, all of my links for $upport are found at the “Support” tab on my website. I do not have any wishlist, and any changes to that or the links will be updated/up to date on my website.