I have been meaning to write about context collapse with beeper for a long while. I have written about Beeper previously.. In short Beeper is a messaging client which takes advantage of Matrix’s bridge system to connect/bridge to many different networks.
This means I use Matrix every single day on my laptops and smartphones. Its great, as its connects to so many different networks including Discord and Slack, all without installing Slack or Discord on my phone and even laptop if I wanted to.
However there is a effect which is best described as (like) context collapse.
The amount of times I have received a message from someone on Linkedin, Facebook msg, Twitter direct message (which I don’t think works anymore – as you can imagine)., etc, etc. They all end up in my inbox and its super useful but sometimes I need to look at the little icon to then figure out what I should do next.
Should I treat it as serious, should I reply straight away or not worry too much. This is very apt when you are getting linkedin or twitter DMs. This is similar for Facebook messages.
It also affects the way you reply too, should I reply in my usual laidback style, should I add emojis, should I write a lot back, voice reply, etc etc.
It sounds stressful but actually I’m ok with it because the alternative of having lot of apps on my phone or laptop running would be far worst in my head. If there was a way to make the notifications per network that might be useful, but generally I’m ok with the context collapse, as the icons make it clear enough and force me to think.
This changes a bit when using my Android wear watch, which strips out such detail. So I generally don’t reply unless I know its from a friend or family. Although even that can be interesting as my mother is on sms & signal or a friend who is on sms, discord and facebook msg.
I kinda want to see a matrix bridge for activitypub (fediverse) but honestly with the amount of context collapse, I don’t think it would personally be a good idea for me.
Interested what others think about this all and would you like one client to do all your messages and potentially your social networking too?