Devon de Numbre


Can you do well without social media and not miss much in life? Sure and this is the question that young students of the so-called "LOG OFF" movement are asking themselves. For those who want to look into this, I recommend this podcast episode: "Jonathan Haidt: The Case Against Social Media | Lex Fridman Podcast #291".

All social media is optimized for short-term attention and strives from advertising clicks. The general question remains: What positive can I get out of Facebook, Instagram and Twitter? For example, my wife's family communicates all over the world via Facebook Messenger. I find this aspect very positive, although this would of course also work via other services.

I've been using social media since Flickr, was probably one of the first Twitter users, and had a long-standing love-hate-relationship with Instagram and Twitter:

  • On Instagram I found interesting content until it was systematically spoiled for me by false algorithmic recommendations and stupid advertisements. I have had this experience not once, but probably three times with fresh accounts. I once heard a lecture from an Instagram data engineer about how great these algorithms are for finding the right dog pictures for his mother. Nope, they are not and they deliver false positives intentionally. Instagram is a gigantic AI-based data dump that just monetises our interests. (If Instagram offered a professional paid version without advertising and unfiltered content, I would immediately pay a monthly user fee for it!)

  • On Twitter, I followed interesting personalities (not celebrities!) who communicate their sensitivities every hour. None of them had even one tweet time to answer my suggestions or respond to my (neutral) feedback. Twitter is a megaphone of sensitivities, with a focus on American emotional worlds. Twitter is summarized extremely well in this article: "I Should Be Able to Mute America".

At the end of July 2022, I deleted my last social media account. Before I had a multi-year client project where I searched, collected and queried masses of cyber threat intelligence on the Internet. In the end, it became very boring. Same, same every day: X attacks Y for a vulnerability in Z, and Y failed to fix known Z for a long time.

I am of the opinion that Facebook, Instagram, Reddit, TikTok and Twitter have zero value for discovering news. I keep myself informed of all the news when and where I need it. I don't need algorithms that push news to my smartphone via click rates of others. (My smartphone is de-facto silent all day except for notifications from iMessage.) With software like NetNewsWire or services like Feedbin I can subscribe to websites (RSS) and YouTube user accounts.

I still find YouTube very exciting and really like some channels. If you want to see the latest video from a YouTube channel right away, Feedbin is highly recommended.

It's just better to live without constantly getting 'virtual bird crap' or 'Meta-poop' in your face. Indeed: "Offline Is The New Luxury"

Thoughts? Leave a comment