Goodbye, Likes and Feeds

I’ve decided to stop using any social media/news site that uses the concept of a “like” or a “feed”. This is an experiment, so I’ll do it for a month or so and then post an update on how it’s going.

Reading news and social feeds takes a lot of my time, and I don’t even enjoy it. Or rather, I enjoy it barely enough to scroll down and see one more piece of “content.” It’s like 50% TV, 50% sedative drug. And it’s not even useful - I might learn a little about what my friends are doing, but my relationship with them isn’t getting any stronger.

With social networks, it seems like the more you put in, the more you get out. But anything I put in will be immediately judged by how many “likes” it gets, so I self-censor a lot, and only post things I’m pretty sure will be well received. Even then, I’m really self-conscious about it.

The plan

Less of these

  1. Facebook: Will use this for chats and events only. I installed a chrome plugin that hides the main feed.

  2. Twitter: No more of this. It’s a pity, because people do put cool stuff there.

  3. Instagram: I set up an account recently, but haven’t used it, and will continue not using it.

  4. Hacker News: To wean me off, I wrote some custom CSS so that I can only see the top 10 posts and can’t see a “more” button.

  5. Reddit: More custom CSS so I can only see the top 20 posts, and no “more” button.

No mobile apps for any of the above.

More of these

  1. Directly chatting people

  2. Emailing people: Is this still a thing?

  3. Snapchat: Haven’t really gotten into this, so we’ll see how it pans out. But it’s promising - it feels really personal, and there’s less pressure to show off your wonderful life all the time.

  4. RSS readers: Instead of news, I’ll read more blogs. It’s easier to escape the filter bubble by following blog links, and I’ve learned a lot of cool stuff by finding good bloggers and reading their old posts.

  5. Making lists of friends: Like, if you’re reading this, I may be putting you on a list of “people to keep in touch with” right now. Do you think that’s weird? Whatever. Let me know and I’ll take you off or something.

Posted on July 2, 2016