I’m done with social media.
It’s not a New Year’s Resolution but the end result of more than a year’s worth of building frustration.
What started as a fun way to connect with old friends or admire someone’s creativity and wit has devolved into an algorithm-manipulated product- and misinformation-selling free for all. Our data, our kids’ pictures, our very identities are up for sale every time we post, and Facebook, Twitter and Google have all shown that they care for the wealth of their shareholders far more than they care about our privacy or safety.
So that’s it.
It’s a little embarrassing. Back in 2006 I was explaining the brave new world of Web 2.0 at conferences around the country. I’ve had a Twitter account for more than ten years. I’ve posted more than 1200 pictures on Instagram. Here are the most liked from this year (Yes, there’s even an app to figure out that):
I was convinced that this new media would open doors to connect people and ideas. A decade later, the doors are there, but you have to pay to get through. You pay in never ending ads, in courting the most vile racism and misogyny should you catch the attention of trolls, and in the strategic rewiring of your own brain to feed you just enough dopamine to keep scrolling and scrolling and scrolling.
We can do better.
We can create a better internet for ourselves.
One where we carefully select the people and organizations we choose to listen to. Where we can be anonymous if we wish or engage in spirited debate. Where the images and ideas we put online don’t automatically become someone else’s property.
We can use tools like RSS and email, which seem almost quaint now, to curate the discussions that we’ll engage in.
We’ll have to work a little harder, but the result will be the conversation we want to have… one that might not even happen online.
So from now on, I’ll be posting here a little more often. Sometimes it may just be a few photos or a shorter secondary post.
Please stop by if you want to say hello or see what I’ve been up to. You can use the contact form or email me at my first name (at) loradow.com. If you’d like, hit the subscribe button above and about once a week you’ll get an email with links to whatever’s been posted the week before.
My Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr and Instagram accounts are gone. I’ve deleted the Lora Dow Facebook page. I still have a LinkedIn and Facebook account for work purposes, but neither are reliable ways to reach me.
My online presence is under new management… my own.
PS – I still have a little housekeeping to do on the site to clear out the feeds and links to social media platforms, but they’ll be gone soon too, I promise.