Sharing experiences with me as part of the initial rush to Mastodon fills a gap in my experience: I don’t know what I don’t know sometimes. It’s not like I can ask if I have no clue that I don’t know. Many times, I don’t “just know” things that might be simple to you or that you discovered many years ago, even if they’re very common and understood to you and yours in your community. I am very, very grateful to people who accommodate me and answer me. I’m not willfully ignorant, if I can at all help it. I’m mostly over feeling shame when someone asks me how I could possibly not know the thing I don’t know.

Brief example: I recently got glasses. Thanks to tests that don’t rely on my knowing what is different and being able to communicate it (vs. verbal responses like a pain scale, who knows with that face means), I learned a bunch of things that made my life better.

  • I didn’t know I had astigmatism
  • I didn’t know I was seeing double and had been for most of my life.
  • I didn’t know most people didn’t just pick the eye that saw better and used that one (or that it’s uncommon to be able to do that).
  • I didn’t know that converging images first and focusing second would: a) be something you could practice, and b) solve a problem
  • I didn’t know that I could be way above average on convergence if someone taught me how better to use my eyes.
  • I didn’t know someone could teach you how to use your eyes better.

I’m living in a sample size of one. If you describe something that you do differently than me, I’m used to being different, so I don’t assume I should be able to do it too.