I changed my subscription to the SmofList this morning. I will no longer be getting the emails. It’s just not worth it anymore. 

My mother had me added to the list several years ago. When I joined, I was excited. Finally, a spot at the ‘grown up’ table. The chance to join conversations on how to make fandom and conventions better. To learn from great people with more experience that I’d looked up to for years. 

The List at present is much different than the list that I joined. Since I’ve only been on the list for several years, I asked a friend if they’d ever seen it this bad. They said that they had seen the list this hot before, and that it’s gotten hotter for longer before, but they weren’t sure that it had ever stayed this hot for this long. There are no more productive conversations. There are endless arguments and conversations that are derailed by people trying to make a light joke to make things easier. Very few people are friendly, and it feels like everyone (not just new members) feel like they are under attack. I wanted a channel to continue communication that started in the consuite, and in the bridge, and The List is no longer that. 

This weekend I went to Smofcon and I found out that one of the people that I wanted to engage with no longer even reads The List because its so toxic. That was at once so, relieving and so disappointing. I’ve been sticking around this shitty place where this person isn’t even going anymore?! But on the other hand I can finally leave! 

Deleting all of the unread threads in my inbox was magical. It felt just as good as knowing I’d done a good thing for fandom. 

I’m looking forward to spending more time actually doing things, than talking and arguing in circles about them. 

7 responses to “Exodus”

  1. While I am occasionally the one making a quick joke, I also try to provide meaningful commentary when I can. However, I am sick of the SMOFs are evil talk, the circular subjects and the baiting, hate speech, inflamed comments, etc. I am sticking with it to prove that young people have some point of view, try and sift through for gold and because of that other thing we are involved with, but I don’t know how much longer I’ll last; most of it gets autodeleted without reading at this point.

    1. Yeah, there are good SMOFS around, but that list isn’t a good representation of them. I much prefer the JOF group on FB, but I admit to being a bit biased.

  2. The JOF facebook wall is a much better place than that list currently for productive conversations, in my opinion.

  3. It’s a wretched hive of scum and villainy. I think the reason I don’t like the word smof is because I associate the word with the dominant personalities on the smofs list rather than with general conrunning, and the list is just so poisonous. I wonder whether, had I been on there for longer, I wouldn’t have that association.

    1. That’s a good question. I know that I have a positive view of SMOFS even after leaving the list because I know so many of them outside of the list, and have known them for so long. There are a few that are just assholes to be assholes, but the majority of them are really good people who want to make fandom better.

      I have so much time now that my inbox isn’t trying to eat me…

  4. At this point, I only read smofs when I am directed to a specific topic. Between the pomposity, the venom and the unreadable
    list formats, it sits in my in box 95% unopened.. JOFS in general a more congenial direct and useful conversation.

    1. I’m glad you find JOFs useful! We worry about conversation and attitudes trending into unhelpfulness.

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