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comment by AshleyR
AshleyR  ·  1325 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Stephen Fry's Blog post on Social Media.

So, here's how I became aware of this post.

I was checking the new articles in my RSS reader today (the old FeedDemon). I saw @goobster's badged comment, skimmed it and checked the article. As I was reading it, I thought "wow... what he mentions in here is all the things I've been doing all these years!!".

From what was in there, the only missing part for me was meeting people face to face, due to my disagreements with local people and the difficulty in finding like-minded folks in my town. But I'm getting off the point.

I quit Facebook around 5-6 years ago. After blocking posts by a huge amount of people in my timeline (and cringing at what my parents posted). I decided to delete it. Not deactivate the account. Took me a couple hours to find that hidden link to delete the account for good. Also, 2 more weeks so they would delete my data. Allegedly.

Then I got in love with RSS. With it, I can pick my own sources of information. I don't have to go to the websites I'm interested in. They come to me. I don't have another entity or people curating my timeline, deciding what I should see and what I shouldn't. I think this is a good example of rebellion hinted by Stephen Fry in his article. RSS used to be popular, but with more people reading blogs and the like through social media, it fell to the sidelines. Finding good RSS feeds nowadays for me has been quite an ordeal. In the past month I got around that problem. Also, @mk, I'm really grateful that Hubski has easy-to-find RSS feeds. Thank you!

The other mainstream platform I was trying to circumvent was Whatsapp, ever since Facebook bought it. To this day, I haven't found a way to get things from inside that app. It was mostly to interact more with local people in my area. Then I found Telegram and started using it to talk to international users (which I still do and love it). Now, back to Whatsapp, after seeing what people do in there and comparing both apps, I said "hey, I don't want to tap in there anymore. Nothing useful to me". Another funny thing was that I met people who used a Telegram unnoficial client in Brazil called ZapZap, and they didn't know they were using Telegram itself! One woman even went and said "Telegram is crap"!

My point with this comment is to share my experience as a person who doesn't use the platforms and social media everyone uses. It's not easy and takes a lot of work to set up things, but in the end... it's worth it.





Bypel  ·  1315 days ago  ·  link  ·  

What is your reason for not using the platforms and social media everyone uses?

Just for the sake of 'going against the mainstream'?

AshleyR  ·  1315 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    What is your reason for not using the platforms and social media everyone uses?

- Facebook: it didn't really appeal to me. I don't share my life all the time with people and I found that engaging them over there wasn't very effective. Their attention was divided among many other things. Sometimes they wouldn't see what I posted because of the EdgeRank algorithm. Also, I felt much better when I didn't receive updates from everyone else all the time.

- Whatsapp (popular messaging app in my country): In the beginning, it was because of it requiring my phone number to use it. Other than that, since I'm not tied to any group of friends in these things, I took a look at the features. Didn't like it that I would have to ask permission to get in a group every time and that my number would be visible to everyone. Also, cryptography issues back then. I ended up using Telegram.

- Instagram: I don't really take many photos. Just of articles I read in magazines and posters I need to remember later.

- Reddit: I haven't mined a lot of information from there. Got some penpals once through /r/penpals and I'd hang out in /r/casualconversation, but... after a while it felt off to me. I didn't like the feel of the place. I also expected to meet more people from other countries, but most of them were from the US in these subs at the time (last year). In Telegram, most people are from Iran.

- RSS: This one was big back in the late 2000s, but now not many people use it because they get their news from their feeds in FB and the like. I use it to check my email, monitor some ongoing events, keep up with Hubski and follow the themes I'm interested in. I use it to run some Twitter queries too.

- Twitter: never felt like sending anything there, I just check hashtags for things I'm interested in and the trending topics once in a while. Tried using it with an account before, but I thought it was too disorganized. A lot of stuff thrown at one's face at once. Lists help organize things a bit better, but then the problem was checking them. I wanted to find a desktop client (because I'm too lazy to keep tabs open and refresh them). Since there wasn't any, I forked it to RSS.

- Youtube: I just go in there to do research too. Now I forked some channels to my RSS reader. When I can't find what I want there, I go to Vimeo or Dailymotion.

- Snapchat: Tried using it as a bridge between me and the people who use Whatsapp. I got it to run in an Android emulator, and the idea was to check it on my desktop, but that didn't go well. I scrapped the idea. Snapchat is more image oriented. Wouldn't be good for texts only.

This is pretty much it. I'm trying to use email more, so far I'm getting weather reports through there, and haven't found any newsletter that caught my eye yet. I stopped with the penpals too, we just drifted away from each other... and I rarely send anything at all. The more troublesome point was keeping contact with locals in my area, but I rolled back to phone calls and texting ,even though they charge per text and per minute spoken around here. I'd love to find a free alternative.