Science fiction author (and former librarian) Karl Drinkwater is leaving social media:
“…I’m going to close my social media accounts. They tie you in by becoming a habit. They tie you in by making you think you need continuous reinforcement. They tie you in with follower counts, and the implicit threat that if you walk away you’ll lose thousands of followers gathered over a decade. The last one isn’t true. As in, you don’t lose anything….” Plus, he adds, commercial social media sites like Twitter and Facebook spy on you, make money from your content, own your content, don’t actually show your followers your content, and do many other evil things.
Drinkwater is no Luddite. He details how he’s been an early adopter many times in the past. And maybe he’s being an early adopter now — we’re seeing the beginnings of a trend of tech-savvy people realizing the full horrors of commercial social media, and getting rid of it. Realizing the full horrors of Amazon, and withdrawing all support from it. Realizing the full horrors of Microsoft and Apple, of any smartphone made, and finding alternatives.
He’s fortunate that he can withdraw from all those things. I pretty much have to have a smartphone for my job. Given the press of demands from my job, I don’t have the time to make the switch to LibreOffice. Similarly, I don’t have time to switch to Linux — a switch that would entail too many hours of learning Linus, finding replacement software, learning how to use it.
On the other hand, Drinkwater says he’s done this as a gradual changeover. You don’t have to do it overnight. I’ve already pretty much stopped using social media. My laptop has about two more years of life left in it; maybe I should think about buying a new laptop now, one that I can install Linux on. Maybe it’s time to start researching dumb phones, ones without GPS or other spying capabilities built into them.
But I will definitely remain here at this blog. This blog is what social media used to look like. I use open source software to power this blog, and host it with an ISP that uses renewable energy. No one steals your data. No one owns my content (except me). This is what the web could be….