Another who’s leaving social media

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 Linux, 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….

4 thoughts on “Another who’s leaving social media”

  1. I’ve been using desktop Linux, almost always the vanilla variety of Ubuntu Linux since 2004 for all of my home computing, and more than 15 years of my work computing, to date. It’s much easier than it used to be, both because Linux has developed so much and (less good) so much of the new software is really a web app.

    There’s only one thing that I can’t do on one of my Linux boxen and that’s use a certain scanner, a gift.

    LibreOffice in even easier to use and robust, but I don’t use many macros and don’t write any. You can try the current version on whatever you’re using now. The only thing that’s scrambled for me is PowerPoint/Impress, and that may be because I don’t have the same fonts.

  2. Not that Linux desktops use more web apps than the others, but that’s how proprietary software seems to be going. (I thinking of accounting software at the moment.) I’d think you’d have more comparable non-web-apps with Linux, but they’d also be different software packages and so a learning curve.

    Just try it already.

  3. Scott, you say just try it already, but it costs money! I think I’ll wait until next fiscal year, and see if I can budget a low-end Linux laptop into my professional expenses.

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