Artists like Audrey Wollen, Alexandra Marzella and Arvida Bystrom moved to Instagram from Tumblr in the early 2010s. But the past few years have seen the platform shift.
It’s hard to remember a world without social media, but it existed – as did a lot of other networks. We tracked their evolution.
It is useful as a provocation for many conversations.
In sharp contrast to Postman’s prediction, childhood never did disappear. Instead, it has become ubiquitous in a new and unexpected way. Today, childhood and adolescence are more visible and pervasive than ever before. For the first time in history, children and adolescents have widespread access to the technologies needed to represent their lives, circulate these representations, and forge networks with each other, often with little or no adult supervision. The potential danger is no longer childhood’s disappearance, but rather the possibility of a perpetual childhood. The real crisis of the digital age is not the disappearance of childhood, but the specter of a childhood that can never be forgotten.
Code is never more important than life. Genocide is always a bigger problem than software distribution licenses. Hopefully this is obvious.
While I accept that it runs counter to the stated principles of the free software movement, I believe we need a new set of licenses that explicitly forbid using software to facilitate hate or hate groups.
The way we regulated social media platforms didn’t end harassment, extremism or disinformation. It only gave them more power and made the problem worse.
Screenshot of my Instagram feed Photo by Donna Murray Photography
I mentioned yesterday my frustrations with Instagram were at an all-time high, and I wanted to “soft quit” the app by adding my follows as a source in Monocle. I didn’t find any existing guide on how to do this (sorry if I misse…
If the problem has not been the centralized, corporatized control of the individual voice, the individual’s data, but rather a deeper failure of sociality that precedes that control, then merely reclaiming ownership of our voices and our data isn’t enough. If the goal is creating more authentic, more productive forms of online sociality, we need to rethink our platforms, the ways they function, and our relationships to them from the ground up. It’s not just a matter of functionality, or privacy controls, or even of business models. It’s a matter of governance
We need a new approach. Not controlled only by algorithms, but also not a walled garden that limits distribution of content. We need a system that prioritizes curation while preserving the freedom to publish outside of silos, with APIs based on the IndieWeb that are open by default instead of locked down with developer registration.
How one BBC correspondent was locked out of China’s top messaging app after posting photos.
One thing that I am left wondering is how the benefits and affordances change and develop over time? I was left thinking about this while reading Clive Thompson’s new book Coders compared with his last book Smarter Than You Think.
The only problem I have with this is that it frames the IndieWeb as a response to a specific problem, that is social media. Personally, I see it as a reimagining of blogging and online interaction, as much as it is a solution to social media. As Ben Werdmuller highlights, POSSEing to social media sites has its limits.
One of the things that I value about my IndieWeb site is a record of my interactions. I think that reclaiming this information provides the foundation for even richer explorations.
This framing of social media was something I wasafter watching your TED Talk.
As I’ve opted out of Facebook, what I’ve noticed is, first of all, that I don’t feel ragingly angry. I don’t know who went on vacation where, unless I talk to them via text message, and I don’t care. I don’t care about political articles that are specifically designed to infuriate me. I don’t care about people I went to college with ten years ago. My world is neater and quieter.
At the same time, I miss more and more events targeted at my daughter’s age level that we could have attended. I miss small observations that my friends wouldn’t make over text that they do via Facebook posts that I no longer discuss with them. I miss parenting conversations that are extremely relevant to my local school district. I miss birthdays that I should have written down in my paper calendar, but didn’t. I miss discussions the Jewish community at large, which I am connected to digitally instead of physically, is having. By opting out of performing emotional labor on Facebook and going into my own sort of media hibernation, I miss the steady background hum of “having my finger on the pulse” as it relates to me and my family.
We are all connected to the spigot, even if we want to opt out. Social media contains all of our news, our family’s baby pictures, extensions of our lives in one exhausting digital stream. One glaring example that comes to mind is Facebook specifically.
Although I’ve written extensively about how important it is to get off the platform as soon as you are humanly able, for the sake of our collective mental health, I find myself not being able to take my own advice.
Not because I’m addicted, but because Facebook, for better or worse, is still the platform where social events are planned. Where parent groups exchange information. Where family pictures are shared and discussed. To willingly walk away from Facebook and all of its needy notifications is to experience both immense relief and complete ostracism.
This reminds me of Venkatesh Rao’s pushback on Waldenponding. I wonder if one strategy is managing your feeds through a form of social media jujitsu or simply writing the web we want as captured by the #ProSocialWeb movement.
Which brings me to the saddest thing about these platforms: they are taking all of our input and time, and our thoughts, energy, and content, and using all of that for free to make money. Think about how many times you’ve tweeted. Or written or commented on a Facebook post. Or started a Medium draft. These are all our words, locked in proprietary platforms that controls not only how our message is displayed, but how we write it, and even more worrying, how we think about it.
- Write your own blog on your own platform
- Share good content
- Acknowledge creators by paying them
- Use adblockers
- Engage in dialogue with people who are different from you
I think that this post is a useful provocation for the #ProSocialWeb. It is also interesting to consider her point about Adblockers in light of Google’s move to restrict them.
The C.E.O. of Twitter no longer seems capable of controlling the system he’s created.
For centuries, influencers have been forcing us to admit an uncomfortable truth: we are neither entirely self-determining nor self-contained.