Adjusting my landscape


Change has been coming lately, looking towards a different future. So many things that I need to focus on outside of what I have been. The first step was to delete my facebook account yesterday. So much more to come.

The idea for cutting facebook out actually came about several months ago. I can't remember what triggered it then. But I did try. And found out that apparently it was impossible to do then. I needed to create another account to pass off the few applications that I have to. So I did that, and by the time it was done I kind of gave up on deleting.

Still, it was nice t know that I could. That I had the option.

There wasn't really a trigger this time, honestly. More of a calculated thinking, and analyzation of my patterns and habits. Looking at how I interacted with people, and who I was interacting with. Also a lot of thinking about Facebook as a 'thing' and what it's doing. And really, I didn't want anything to do with the company. I don't like how it treats my information, I don't like how it keeps information from my friends from me. There was really so much to hate.

Really, I do hate a whole lot of the internet. But not really the internet itself. Not how it functions, not what it means, not what it can do for people. What I hate is how it exploits people. It's like a big casino with a ton of bright lights and bells that make you think you are winning, but really they're just pocketing your money. It keeps us in little bubbles, becoming more and more isolated through filter bubbles - it becomes an echo chamber where everyone that feels the same way whips up a frenzy to attack the other side.

What happens when you do that? Almost always the two sides destroying each other. Mob mentality. They pull up pitchforks and torches and attack the other, the outsider. They think it's OK to demonize and attack the other.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not someone who is particularly tolerant. I'm not. I am very, very disappointed by almost every human I meet. Myself most of all. But I don't think that it's right to just say 'anyone can think or do anything and it's OK' - that is honestly one of the most dangerous ideas. That's what allows us to think that it's OK to try and present creationism alongside evolution as fact in schools. That's how you get politicians saying that the earth is only 6000 years old. Or trying to prevent their children from understanding basic facts about human biology and sexual reproduction.

Your ignorance is not a right. It is not something you can inflict on others. You should not be coddled in your beliefs. You should be fucking ridiculed and demeaned and laughed at. You are what is keeping us down. You are why the planet is probably doomed.  Calling you out on it is not persecution.

Sigh, how did I get on that?  Oh yeah, the internet.

I guess if anything, it was arguing with someone that I agree with on a lot of other things about google. It was thinking about tracking and how we are just nodes on a network. And what those networks are doing for us.

What else is there?

When I mentioned that I was going to be deleting my account in the morning (it ended up being 12:02am or so) there was a lot of outcry. People worried that they wouldn't be able to contact me or see my posts, things like that. Wondering what could bring about such a thing. Just kind of goes to show how such stuff can influence you. I don't think I was even really on there before about a year and a half ago. I didn't use it hardly at all, at least if you look at my timehop notifications. Maybe it was just permissions, but there were almost no notifications for the first few months I was getting emails. Then they started showing up a lot. But almost none on twitter. It's 90% facebook.

I had tried using google plus, but without many people I actually knew there it was a bit lonely. Also it was pretty creepy how when I joined and was adding people and making circles, I made one for 'lovers.' Sure, not a big deal, that would be a group I think a lot of people would want to have.

Thing is, when I added this person, lovers was preselected. What other information is being mined from my inbox?

When we did the Midwest PHP Conference, I knew that my Facebook friends that get the most of my posts would have no interest in the stuff I was going to be posting about the talks. So I turned to my old twitter skills. I was a user there (reluctantly as well at first) long before I was on FB. I also looked at what other people were saying and doing as they tweeted. 

It was also the first time that I'd seen people using tweetdeck. I think back when I was using twitter heavily that was still a desktop app or something, or didn't run under linux. Not sure why I didn't use it. I didn't have a smartphone back then, and really most of my focus was on bikelove. Twitter was just kind of a feed. I parsed it for data to parse to send on to bikelove. Seeing the different columns and it working in a  browser on other people's laptops when I was there made me decide to check it out later.

Honestly, I am loving it. There isn't really a filter. Sure, there's a few ads inserted, but it's everything from everyone that I'm interested in. And I can narrow that down. I can have multiple accounts open at the same time, so I can do things like tweet something at my work account, then retweet on my personal to drive traffic to our company's feed. Become interested in a hashtag subject and watch it for exactly as long as I want.

There's nothing telling me that 'hey _____ got married! do you want to send them a gift!'  or 'Today's _____ birthday! Send them a Starbucks gift!.'

Really? Just by using your platform, I'm supporting businesses I would never patronize and a consumer culture that I don't believe in.  No possible way to hide any add from anyone on mobile. Dismissing an add and saying 'hide all from' never really working. 

Maybe I'm just crazy. I want a place to talk to my friends that is not based on commerce. If it does require things like ads to pay for itself, then it should offer a subscription so that people can opt out of advertising. And really, once it's beyond a certain point, even paying for opting out of ads should be optional, if you say you make under _x_ a year, you can choose to not to. Or just let people opt in. 

Honestly, what I want for a social media site doesn't exist anywhere. Well, maybe one place. Inside of my head. I have one I want to build. 

But for now, I guess it's twitter. And my interest there will be a lot less than facebook was. And more focused. From using it over the last couple of months, I've connected with a lot of people that actually do what I do. That seems far more important. I'm seeing more links that are relevant to me. 

The real focus will actually be on the platform that I want to make. The add ons I want to make. I've been saving a lot of money after buying a small little battery powered cherry wood box, actually at least 500/month. I've adjusted my hours to offer more time to work on my own projects. With the few things that have been over me for the last 6 months mostly wrapping up, I should have a lot more time. I want to do so many things, I really don't need the distractions.

In other news...

There really isn't any other news. Except there is. Just nobody to share it with. And it only changes my world. My world is quite small. It can change a lot without notice.  And my trajectory is for even further change. I'm OK with it, but I think a lot of people I know won't be. That makes me sad, but it it won't affect the outcome. There's only one direction now, which sucks, but really, I've just learned that all the other paths were illusions.