I finally took steps to distance myself from three moldy, overdead, social media services. I deactivated my verified Facebook business page with 17,000 followers. I also deactivated my Instagram account. I made my verified, 47,000 follower, Twitter account, private. I let go of those social media services because all three have lost the common touch. They’re run by robots, mastered by intentional cruelty, subjected to bad human policy decisions, bothered by awful automation and, in one case, a sort of madman rules the nest. Today, none of those ideations of those social media services are what they were when they started, and I made the decision to no longer be a part of the “creative community” that makes content for those services just so mega media can sell advertising off our hard work. Enough!
Our privacy has routinely been violated by Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. We get absolutely nothing of value back in our free exchange of information. They own us, and our content, and all three of them can cut us off at any time for any ridiculous reason.
And they have!
So, I have moved on to the Federated Universe. My Boles.xyz site is now a Mastodon instance — sign up and join me there if you dare! — and I have also added Pixelfed and Post.News as part of my new social media empire.
My Mastodon instance is sort of my Facebook replacement. My Pixelfed account is sort of my Instagram replacement — Instagram is going after Pixelfed — and Post.News is sort of my Twitter replacement. The replacements actually work pretty well together — so far.
As you can see, with my universal “dead awakening” moving on announcements, the Post.News article —
— does not embed here on WordPress.com, and neither does the Pixelfed article embed at all —
— but, by charm, the Boles.xyz Mastodon instance, as you can see below does embed!
I’ve been online in some way since 1980, or so, using dial-up CompuServe connections from the Midwest internet desert. Change is difficult, and unfun, especially when most of your old timer friends are stuck on Facebook, and they have no desire to leave that service even though it is getting older, and dying, as you read this. Instagram is already dead and buried — the users just don’t know it yet.
When Twitter was purchased by a lone individual, the bad changes were quick, and palpable. There was a tremendous exodus to Mastodon from Twitter. The race to try out Mastodon has diminished a bit now because, it seems, people tried to register, tried to figure out how to work the interface, and then gave up and went back to Twitter to “wait and see” if it was really going to collapse or not.
I agree mastering Mastodon is a little clunky, and somewhat ugly, but since it is Federated, you don’t have a single person deciding what does, and does not, get published and propagated across the network. I like that. You get the feel on Mastodon that these are the same people you met back in the 80s when we all were just discovering what it meant to live online and, because we were paying by-the-minute for access, there was no time to hate post, or bully people, because we were all spending our hard-earned money solving problems, asking questions, and making new friends. It was a restricted wonderland.
Pixelfed is a fine replacement for me for Instagram because it has a better shape, and feel, for the celebration of the image. I also appreciate the Federated instances of Pixelfed that will only grow better with time and tide. When more of us can run our own Pixelfed instance more easily, the time for Instagram to permanently depart will be nigh.
Now, Post.News is interesting, clean, and fast. There’s big money invested there. It feels like Medium — which makes me feel itchy and twitchy — and some think that if we want to escape the creation of content for monetization by others, we should not cling to Post.News. Why leave one silver jail for a golden vase? Those are good questions, and trying to suss them out over the next few months will be important. If I had to choose between Mastodon and Post.News, I would pick Mastodon. The intensity of the engagement is palpably higher on Boles.xyz in consideration.
I know Post.News wants to be the place for news and for journalists, and it is a slick, and frictionless, experience; but prying those folks away from Twitter to offer their work exclusively on Post.News will be the paramount end wager in the financial success of the service. Right now, on Post.News, I enjoy posting lots of images, and as much text as I can comprehend — but I understand, and know, that I am making the same mistake so many before me made with the other three big social media companies in giving up our governance, and solidarity, in favor of their for-profit functioneering. Why do we do this?
We live in exciting times!
The world is changing with AI text and images, and there will be new pathways for us to explore together. The old guard will not want to kindly let us go. They’ll threaten us, and charge us to keep us attached, wiggling our forbearing extinction, and we will just have to decide the best way forward for keeping our autonomy intact, while still being able to get back the thrill of being in the New Old Wild West of 1980 dial-up live from the braided prairie.