I think I’ve become social platform agnostic

I think I have lost my faith in the social media platforms.

It has been an interesting few weeks of thinking about the Internet in general, and social media in particular — namely its pros/cons, opportunity cost, externalities, and collateral, oligopolies, the tyranny of the network effect, and how all this impacts the future of a free, open, and independent web.

Not that this is “the conclusion” of the matter by any means, but I feeling evermore comfortable in a place of “social platform agnosticism.” The investment of my time in developing platform-specific archives and followings does not make sense. These proprietary commercial mediums built on the Internet do not serve me, they serve advertisers.

The ultimate value of the Internet is that it is an open network. I want to invest my time and grow my understanding in a dataset I can access, transport, query, and utilize in the future. For me, right now, this means using WordPress to amalgamate my personal “online existence” in a MySQL database that I own, instead of relying on Facebook or Twitter — or whatever the “next things” might be — to host my digital life for me on their terms, under their conditions.

I will still share updates across these commercial platforms, of course, but I will share from this platform that I independently own and control — a platform that is free and independent of the proprietary web. This is what I mean by platform agnosticism: I don’t believe commercial networks should be the repositories of my data, but I’m happy to temporarily utilize them for the connectivity they create and provide… as fleeting and proprietary as they might be.

2 comments on “I think I’ve become social platform agnostic

  1. I’ve never been much of a Facebook user (just a few family things) and stopped using Twitter last year – they are just too frustrating and aggravating, filled with snark and hate. No matter who you follow it always finds a way in.

    The only “social” space I inhabit now is micro.blog because it is more a blogging platform with a social layer (almost like a commenting system) that promotes and encourages ownership using indieweb principles.

    The backlash is growing but I fear it will never be strong enough to actually hurt the networks and cause them to truly rethink how they operate. But as long as it continues to grow, even just a little, there will be enough to support the open web and prevent its demise.

    • This has been my first week on micro.blog. I have enjoyed peeking around a bit. I like the principles behind the ‘social layer’ quite a bit, and I also must admit I like the community that is coalescing in the space. (I have a really old phone that can’t run the micro.blog app – so I might become more active one day when this old 4s finally blinks out for the last time)

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