Looking up a Pacific Northwest forest path at sunrise, with the sun shining in rays through a light fog

Billionaires are de-mediating my social life

Published 2022-04-16

I have been trying for 10 years to de-cloud or more accurately de-mediate my social life.

ca 2011 I had active accounts on Flickr, Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, and Twitter. I lurked & sometimes posted on MetaFilter, Reddit, Slashdot, del.icio.us and a few others that I’m sure I’ve forgotten. These were habits that started with Flickr in about 2005, when I needed a way to share photos of our honeymoon. All of these things kind of chipped away at the social-Internetty ways I communicated previously: my blog and email lists.

One by one I shuttered or simply stopped feeding each of those social media accounts, in every case in response to some business behavior:

  • Instagram getting snapped up by FB
  • Facebook ditching the non-curated timeline (and general skeeziness)
  • Tumblr getting swallowed by (I think?) Yahoo!(?). It just got pointless around 2014 or so, that’s all I remember
  • Flickr going through all the things Flickr went through
  • And now Twitter

Just like Donald Trump made me a better person — for a while anyway — all these shitlord billionaires are doing for me what I lacked the will to do for myself: de-activate my social media accounts.

Well, I guess I still have LinkedIn? And Strava? Curiously I actually pay actual American money to use those services. 🤔

For what it’s worth, Flickr figured the formula out (for my use cases anyway) but never monetized it properly. I’d pay actual American money for a site that reminded me of birthdays and let me view friends’ dog pictures and nothing else

Let’s take this to email

Maybe I’ll go back to email lists? Pretty sure no one reads this blog anymore unprompted (hi Mom!).

But since you’re here, if you want me to spam you occasionally with dog pictures (mostly) and maybe notices like “read my new blog post!” — send me a note. paul@axoplasm.com