teradyneezeri: (Default)
In a previous post, I brought up the fact that I have dropped using social networks, and that I am happier for it. I would like to take time to explain myself properly in regards to this subject.

During the early days of Twitter, I joined because I felt that I may meet interesting people there, and I did. I would not have met many of the people I have today if I had not joined, and this includes my spouses and loved ones.

Those days have passed, and due to the popularity of the service, combined with the lack of moderation on the side of Twitter, much of the community has become outright hateful and depressing. The original purpose of Twitter—the first “microblogging” service—has long been lost, and in its place, a recurrence of the events which helped to bring down MySpace. Women are constantly attacked, members of the trans*community are constantly victimized, people are constantly using any tool they have to attack others, and very little is done to stop any of it. Much of it is claimed to be “free speech”, but there in lies the problem: these same people strive to remove that same ability to speak freely from their opponents.

Tumblr is facing the same issues. Originally as blogging service, it has since become a social network, and plays host to many horrible communities. Some of these communities outright target individuals and attempt to shame or hurt them until they either “leave the Internet”, or in some cases, until they commit suicide. In a few cases, this has even resulted in “SWATting”, in which a target’s home was reported to police as the scene of a hostage situation, so that a team of SWAT officers would end up terrorizing the target as a proxy.

Tumblr actually frightens me more than any other service—including Google—simply because of its community. The only service which comes close is Reddit, another social network, but much more of their community seems to be reserved and kind in comparison.

I mention all of this because, quite frankly, these are social networks, and this is what has become of the “social web”. I no longer enjoy it as I once did, and I do not think I ever will enjoy it again. I still enjoy blogging, as it is simply writing—often in long form—what is on my mind. It is something which does not require social interaction, unlike social networks where the service will push you into following other people. Blogging also does not require all entries to be either public or private, unlike many social networks (especially Twitter) where you either have your thoughts public or private with no chance to specify otherwise—and public posts are actually public, unlike Facebook which requires one to have an account in order to see anything.

Going forward, I do not believe I will be using social networks. I have my own website, PrismDragon.Net, as well as this DreamWidth account. I also exist on a few sites which have social features, but are not social networks—Diigo, Goodreads, Wattpad, and Degreed are good examples of this. I will not rule out forums, as they are often heavily moderated and well-maintained, unlike a majority of social networks.

I think I have found my first step to becoming happier. Perhaps I can continue that journey, albeit at my own pace.
teradyneezeri: (fira)
On a previous night, a close friend called me. During our talk, he asked “what the deal was” with myself and social networks. I had left Twitter, Ello, and many other sites, settling on only Facebook as my sole social media site.

Social sites do not sit well with me, and the forced social features seen on so many websites tend to turn me away from them rather quickly. This is because I am not a fan of the extreme levels of negativity and hatred found in such places. I find that it simply causes me to become depressed when I surround myself with that sort of content. I am empathic, so emotions can affect me more than most.

With Facebook, I am given tools which allow me to mute posts, removing them from the news feed so that I do not have to view them. After the site learns of my habits with likes and mutes, it begins filtering out content that I do not wish to see. This allows me to keep my emotions under control while I use the site.

Blogs do not have this issue for me. I can easily ignore posts that I do not like, and while sites like DreamWidth allow for things such as friends-only posts, I can still subscribe to authenticated RSS feeds in many cases to receive updates. Unlike Twitter, I am not forced to mute or remove someone from a friend or follow list to stop seeing such posts. I can also easily keep up with blog posts, where as streams such as Twitter can be nearly impossible to keep up with when someone posts hundreds of times or more a day, and the clutter of such a timeline is simply too much for me.

Admittedly, I am one of the early bloggers, starting long ago when the term had barely begun circulating. Moblogging (mobile blogging) had not even been created, and the best smartphone was a Blackberry. I my first “blog” was a small PHP script updating a specially-crafted plain text file. In many ways, I am rather biased in that regard.

August 2015

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