Bookmarked The luxury of opting out of digital noise · Woman. Legend.Blog

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.

Vicki Boykis reflects on the privilege associated with being able to unplug. This continues on from an earlier post on fixing the internet. Like Boykis, I wonder about the relief and ostracism associated with leaving the social web.

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.

Bookmarked Fix the internet by writing good stuff and being nice to people · Woman. Legend.Blog

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.

Vicki Boykis provides some suggestions on how to turn our current internet from a loud, obnoxious, toxic mall, back into a public forum:

  1. Write your own blog on your own platform
  2. Share good content
  3. Acknowledge creators by paying them
  4. Use adblockers
  5. Engage in dialogue with people who are different from you

I find this an interesting set of reflections. I write my own blog and try to engage in dialogue, but I have issues with platforms like Patreon. I prefer to purchase products.

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.