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: (Default)
I have to admit, after numerous days of little sleep, being able to sleep almost seven hours without interruption was a rather nice change. My mind has begun to clear itself of some of the muddled thoughts that I could not get out onto paper or pixels.

Something I have researched as of late is the Gopher protocol. Gopher is a much simpler system similar to FTP, in which you navigate “sites” using a menu in a directory listing. A majority of sites consist of text files and binary files—such as pictures and applications—but some are only text files. They can be used as archival systems, or even as a weblog (or glog/phlog, as they are referred to by Gopher users). I find it fascinating that this protocol is still used rather heavily as an undernet (something which is not seen by the general web browsing public), and I have gained quite a bit of respect for people who use it regularly.

I have also taken to researching FTP itself, and how it was used in the past. I even discovered that some people used it to distribute what were essentially weblog posts though text files, much like Gopher’s phlogs, though very few did this. FTP has always been oriented towards transferring files such as archives (.zip, .tar(.*), etc…), pictures, and applications. Regardless, I find it to be an interesting subject.

Ever since taking myself away from social networks, I find myself doing things that make me happy. Researching various subjects, learning new skills and information…I see now why several of my friends have sworn off Twitter and the like. It honestly feels liberating, and I want it to stay. Social networks are not something which I enjoy any longer. Perhaps I will give that an entry of its own, though.

August 2015

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