I am somewhat introverted by nature. Despite having a blog, I do not believe that the world needs to hear every thought that comes through my head, nor do I want the world to know what I had for lunch yesterday.
And the world shouldn’t care (IMHO).
Having said that, I do like the option of sharing with family and friends significant or unusual happenings in our lives, and to see the same from them. Things that would genuinely interest them or myself.
Organizations also have legitimate needs to show the good and interesting things that they are doing or have done lately.
Things that matter.
Not a brag board, virtue signaling, or other such “hey look at me!” type things.
Those things just don’t resonate with me.
But as I’ve previously posted:
When the product that you’re using is free, it often ends up being you that is the product being packaged and sold.Not originally my quote – my version of something that has been said in various forms since the 70’s
Decentralization, or decentralized services are those where no single entity or location owns or stores the data being moved around. Common technologies that enable this are things like Peer-to-Peer (P2P) or Blockchain, which keep the data spread across multiple places.
There is no CEO that sits on a mountain of data, nor is there a single data center situated on top of a major geological fault zone waiting for the “Big One” to demolish.
(Yes there are hundreds of copies of everything stored in Silicon Valley all over the world, but when the “Big One” hits, plan on some sort of disruption. Just sayin’…)
There is also no single individual ensuring that you only post what fits their definition of free speech. If you don’t like the instance that is moderated in a certain way, there are usually other instances that you can join that is more to your liking; whether that be right or left leaning.
There is something for everyone.
Here are some options if you need your social media fix but are getting tired of being bought and sold like cattle.
Mastodon is a Twitter alternative that is Open Source, decentralized, and can be self-hosted if you want to spin up your own instance for your organization. In fact, when signing up you choose the instance that you are wanting to join that fits your interests specifically. There are thousands of communities run by multitudes of different people and organizations which make it easy to find a group you like.
Many former YouTubers have been moving their content over to Odysee, and the service is growing quickly.
Because they use their own internal monetization model, there is no risk of demonetization by a central authority if they don’t like your content.
Karma is blockchain based social network Instagram replacement which gives you tokens that can be redeemed for boosting your content.
Tokens can also be redeemed into real world currency via cryptocurrency exchanges.
Right now it is available only on mobile devices via their respective on-device stores.
There are many, many more services coming out each year to off alternatives to the behemoths running massive data centers. Choice is growing which is a good thing, and the above is just a small sampling of what is out there.
While all of these replacements to popular services like Facebook, Instagram, and others do a lot of things right by using decentralized protocols and open source offerings, in some cases they also link back to what they are replacing.
For example, for Karma you can sign up with your email which is standard for most things that have an account, or you can use your Facebook account to register. You might very well ask yourself what the point of being decentralized is if you’re still linked back to those very services you’re moving away from. With so many Facebook accounts, and with how many services are now included and linked to/from it, for a lot of people it is just plain convenient to use a single account as a form of SSO.
As with all things, it is about making informed choices, and choice is at the center of it all. Knowing what you are getting or giving up with a service is key, so do your homework, know about the alternatives, and keep abreast of privacy policies and updates to them.
So what do I use?
Well, I’ve deleted my Facebook account that I opened years and years ago but never really used.
I have more recently deleted other offerings like Instagram from my devices.
So really just email, Signal, and good old fashioned telephone calls. I do have a Mastodon account and am subscribed to a Tech-based node, but I login maybe once a week and scan for interesting tidbits.
If I’m bored.
And I don’t send pictures of what I ordered from a restaurant last night to anyone.