I soured on most social media a few years ago. I realized that I wasn’t gaining anything from endlessly scrolling Instagram. At the time, I rationalized my use by telling myself it was the only means I had to contact certain people in my social network, and that if I stopped using social media I’d lose touch with those people. Eventually I had an epiphany- if those people were meaningful to my network, and not just ephemeral acquaintances, then I could just use a different tool to keep in contact. With that in mind, I reached out to strong connections to keep them alive and let weaker connections wither. I eventually deleted Facebook and Instagram entirely. I do still read Reddit, though my list of subscribed subreddits is really curated and slim. I frequently remove subscriptions that just don’t bring me value. I’m left with what amounts to a news aggregator rather than an endless source of FOMO.
Leaving most social media really helped me to see how vile it can be. It’s a sea of misinformation and viral content, echo chambers that amplify mindsets, and algorithmic control of media. And of course there is monetization- ads, influencers shilling products, and personal data being bought and sold like a commodity. Social media isn’t all bad. It just isn’t all good either. And for me, the bad outweighed the good.
The recent API changes at both Twitter and Reddit also highlight one really critical detail about the things you post and share to social media- your content isn’t really yours. It belongs to a corporate entity, and is subject to their whims. With the rise in federated tools like Mastodon and Lemmy, it really feels like we’re on the precipice of moving toward smaller, more focused tools over looming monoliths. We’re coming full circle back to the internet circa 2005.
Over the past few months, I’ve been writing blog posts for my employer. It’s been a lot of fun solidifying my understanding of concepts and translating them into a format that others can consume. It helps me grow both professionally since I’m building my knowledge, and personally since I’m building a stronger brand.
I’ve tried a few different times to start a blog, but I was never able to make it stick. My plans were always too aggressive or too focused on optimizing posts for machines (search engines, mainly) rather than people. It’s time to try my hand at blogging once more, but this time with a fresh perspective. I want to write for people, for me, rather than for search engines. I want to write about the things that I want to learn about or practice. I want to write so I can grow.
Over the next few weeks I’ll be releasing posts on a fairly regular cadence. Some posts will be brand new, while others will be reposts of older content (with updates) from previous iterations of my blog. My blog has been restyled and updated to use some IndieWeb utilities for better syndication and machine readability (for blog aggregators like Feedly). Once I work through the backlog of content my cadence will likely shift to one that is more organic.
Thanks for reading. Stay tuned for some new (or old) content!