This is my canonical web page
I’ve been wanting to ditch big social for a while. I don’t really post anymore. The main reason to stick around is for content. I like seeing what friends and family are up to on Instagram, and I still get a lot of news from twitter.
Unfortunately, the opportunity cost for using big social has gotten too high for me. I’ll explain more about that as we go along, but for now, just know I will be getting rid of them. The only form of social media I will keep will be my Mastodon. Which I will also cover later on in this post. In the future I may try to automate curation of content from other platforms for myself so I can keep up with the people I’d like to hear from. That seems like a really cool project, but it would also be a lot of work. So at the moment, I’m undecided.
What’s so toxic about big social media companies?
This goes way deeper than targeted advertising. Most people I know believe that as creepy as facebook ads are, they do help the find products that they’re interested in. So lets ignore that for now. There are countless cases of facebook, the 3rd parties they work with, and 3rd parties they don’t work with doing all kinds of things with their user’s data. Things that those users almost certainly wouldn’t want them doing. This was a recent example from just this month. AI companies have scraped users photos to create a facial recognition database and sold it to law enforcement
Also not to mention timelines that are curated by an algorithm are really toxic. In the past, Instagram has Push eating disorders on young girls, Facebook’s algorithm may have played a part in a genocide What’s worse is even though they knew that these algorithms cause people to be more divided, and push people towards harmful content, they just ignored it The reason being, algorithmic content curation keep people on their platforms longer. That, ladies and gentlemen, means more advertising dollars. So rather than fix the issues, they chose their profits over their users well being.
The problems with twitter are much more apparent. Since the Musk purchase, the site has been on a downward trajectory. Decisions have been made that have hurt journalists, developers, content creators and consumers. Oh they also have an algorithmic timeline as well. So those issues with divisive content are there as well.
What I’m doing for myself.
First things first I’m going to export my content and hopefully find the time to put it here on this site. If I don’t end up putting it here, I will at least have it somewhere where I can look back on the posts I’ve shared.
Second, like I said I’m on Mastodon. For those of you who don’t know, Mastodon is a social media alternative built using the web protocols that I personally believe will power the next generation of social media. They don’t have an algorithm and they can’t be bought out and run into the ground based off of the way their platform was built as well as their non-profit status.
Third, this is the big idea. I really want to create a tool that will pull content from other platforms, and consolidate it in one place. I’ve thought about making a tool to proxy posts from other social media sites to Mastodon. This would be a big undertaking, so we’ll see if I end up finding the time for that. I may also have posts from this site cross post to Mastodon. That would make this site the canonical place for all of my internet postery.
What can you do?
I know that setting up a website and backfilling posts is a lot, but you can join the next generation of social media over on Mastodon without having to know how to do all that. It’s a bit different in that there isn’t just one site. Kind of like how you can have an email at gmail.com or yahoo.com so if you visit joinmastodon.org you will be asked to pick an “instance”. Which you can think of as your Mastodon provider. I’m on mstdn.social and theatl.social which is great if you’re from the Atlanta area like me.
Another great thing to do is to try to learn more about the importance of privacy. I highly recommend checking out eff.org they are committed to raising awareness and fighting back against harmful technology.
Alright I’m going to get off my soap box and go to bed now. 👋
About the Author
Orignally posted at wandy.dev