A few days after my last blog post celebrating the fifteenth anniversary of joining LiveJournal, I killed off my LJ blog. Well, kind of — I selected the option to do that and it gave me a year to change my mind. So it might still be visible, but I don’t expect to change my mind.
I like WordPress and I’m glad my blog is here, but I must admit that the main reason I moved here is that I could no longer support LJ. The company that owns LJ is wholly Russian now (I believe they moved the last U.S. functions to Russia), and the owners are known to be friends of the oligarchs. Given official attitudes of the Russian state against LGBTQ+ folks and against political opposition in general, I don’t want any part of it.
Yes, you may say “And the U.S. is any better?” to which I would say “Yes, though not by enough.” That leads to more of my concerns about social media. I’m a willing member of Facebook, Twitter, and Google. Of course, we know if the site is free, you are not the customer but the product. Whatever information those three sites are gleaning from my profiles and content, I assume, are already out there being used by whoever pays them for it. If not, they just haven’t figured out why they need it yet. So that’s one strike.
Another strike is with the whole “nazi thing,” and I’m looking at Twitter with a big side-eye here. I have heard of as many neo-nazis and white supremacists and similar scum kicked off Twitter as I have heard of opponents of the neo-nazis et al. being kicked off. Twitter is either incompetent or they aren’t really on our side, after all. Why am I putting up with this? Because there’s no other reasonably good game in town. I started a Mastodon account, and there’s just not much to Mastodon yet.
Besides the foregoing, there’s just too much bad news to social media. Even conceding that I’ve put myself in an echo chamber, I see so much of the viewpoints I’m trying to avoid when my friends repost it so they can complain about it. That’s on top of the ones that sneak in with views I can’t really abide ’ anti-vaxxers, Christian evangelism, and the simplistic things your drunk uncle might spout off on at a family dinner with the phrase “I don’t know WHY Blah blah blah….” It would be such an improvement for all these Facebook posts to magically turn into photos of breakfast, as pointless as those are.
The only real way to win, I fear, is to not play. Stay out of social media. Don’t even start.
I’d get out, but … I’m weak. But every good thing that social media does is still in the world in some form. News in newspapers, radio, and TV. Your friends and family in real life. Get a cat and look at it a lot, and it’ll do cute things; it’s just what they do.
Maybe someday …