Quitting MW/Reddit/FB/Social Media


I’m amused that the first thing Medium wanted me to do when reading the article was sign in with Google or Facebook. Thankfully that can be skipped.


Written like the ridiculously productive person you are!

I, too, have gotten into the beauty of tech-based crutches for focusing. I’m a particular fan of Focus for Mac, bc i can set it to lock me off of every site but gmail (which I need for work) and translation websites (which I also need for work), as well as Reaktor, Live, and everything else I tell myself I’ll open “for just, like, five minutes before I get back to writing this section”

Freedom is also good. I have the most productive days when I turn on Freedom the night before, ensuring that my my phone is locked off the internet when I wake up.
Nothing destroys a productive day of dissertation writing like three lazy hours lost to mindless scrolling in bed :frowning:


I had the same question a while back. My experience with it was always super vanilla. R/futurebeats voted my video to the top, and they all seemed like a nice group of kids, if not a bit overexcited about Bonobo

The Reddit most people see is pretty vanilla as well, like really cute animal videos and heartwarming stories about people overcoming obstacles.

The grodiness is in the weeds of subreddits that bloom around edgelords and shitposting. You know, the types of posts made by people who demand to have a “philosophical debate” about why identity politics and BLM are different than nazi Germany—one with dank memes.


Reddit is a huge number of people wandering in a field telling each other feel-good stories, showing silly pictures, telling jokes, and hardly noticing a vast number of rocks around the edges of the field that they really don’t want to look under.

It has been like that ever since the creation of subreddits allowed people to create filter bubble communities. Some in a very good way (a lot of the art and music subs are useful) but many in a very bad way. There are outright criminal acts on Reddit everyday, hiding behind anonymity and indifference.


I use a few types of social media - notably Facebook and Reddit. Both have their merits. I think what I’m finding is that these sorts of websites have replaced my once random web surfing. They exist as a closed door society where your activity is being monitored and the content is influenced by third parties. Aside from growing increasingly bored of these types of sites I’m also growing wary of the looming Big Brother.

I’ve previously been a member of another forum (who shall go unnamed) but the software is frustrating and not very effective. I like this new Community software. I see myself participating in more current forums instead of the corporate social media in general. A few other music hardware/software forums are setup with Community as well.


Not all alt-right stuff:


Just like it happened so often in the 90’s many of these things sprout only to die a few years later.

Or – we could be seeing nothing less than a new beginning, a new world emerging, a new understanding of being. It won’t make sense right now what any of this really is, it all seems rather silly and trivial at the moment. Things may not look that way given time.

Alt-right is one of these “emergences” too I guess. In any event, it helps also to be aware of the dangers.

But Facebook/Twitter/etc. just gives us back the same old structures. Just like neoliberalism, it may safely carry us through the day, but in the long run poses our greatest threat, as it presents a sort of final configuration in which no new understandings can emerge.

I am curious about some of the lesser known platforms, such as Mastodon and Amino. I haven’t had a real reason to check them out, but they seem to carry the idea of decentralization one step further.


For a little bit, I had a stand alone instance of Discourse working with a heavily filtered postfix mail server for invites and other communications. It worked well for a beta-month, but on an update, postfix broke for invites. Probably something small and needs a less bleeding edge version to work in a long term stable way. I was pretty successful at maintaining a port 25 kind of target (as this server becomes rapidly), but I’ll have to increase the fail2ban kind of filtering to keep the brute force attacks from becoming unmanageable. I wish spammers had a better way of identifying their targets as “not of value”. Relaying is not possible with the chosen config. You probably don’t need such a thing, but if you want a couple of configs for the container and external postifx stuff, it’s up for grabs upon a pm.

I considered a small set up like this for links only to Internet Archive for the purpose of collaboration / improv etc. The idea being to request of users that uploads are strictly minimized if done at all, while linking to original works or work for discussion would be the focus. Voluntary donation to IA would be kind of nice too if users don’t mind the openness of the IA. I’m not sure I’m the right person to manage a large instance for this kind of purpose. I’m not an effective moderator really, but the install and lack of big mail costs / storage is kind of cool and it works well. I have some other ideas in terms of structure and tech that would allow for external access to calendars and personal player pages like the one I’ve posted here in a different topic. Link only players work super well from pretty much anywhere linking back to IA. Amplitudejs are the guts for the prototypes I’ve been building for a couple of my own projects. It’s been working perfectly for me for more than a year now. I’m not much of a programmer, but I have cobbled some cool things together here and there over the years. I think it would be worth while to make a plugin set that would allow music pages and calendars to magically appear as a hard outer shell to a private / invite only instance of discourse. Sometimes you just want to do some work on a couple of things without the extra work it takes to keep a place working nicely. This of course will not be an approach that everyone would like, but the ideas will work for other flavors of discourse as well.

Anyhow, sorry for the belated, big winded reply.


I thought of this thread as I was reading this article. It explains quite well why I’ve shied away from discussing anything personal on the internet: https://www.vox.com/technology/2018/8/8/17661368/sarah-jeong-twitter-new-york-times-andrew-sullivan


ah! finally someone put words on the reason i can’t make any sense of twitter:

I thought i had some condition preventing me from understanding what happened there. Well, maybe i have, if i refer to the hundreds of millions people that seem to be able to decode signal out of the giant moussaka of words and hashtags.


Hmm. I think this “ephemeral, self-referential mode” is actually a pretty good description of discourse or communication in general. When communication happens there is already some discourse or understanding or world behind the communication, otherwise it wouldn’t make sense. In other words, it is primarily communication that communicates. Communication more or less uses people, and now algorithms as well, to do the communicating. For instance, I only make sense of Sullivan in a very limited way – for me, the world and discourse where Sullivan is some kind of important or interesting thinker simply doesn’t exist; it’s not a discourse into which I’ve entered, nor towards which I feel myself particularly drawn. But this was the case long before Twitter. Likewise, the new fascism inevitably involved green frogs for a while, today it preoccupies itself with accusations of pedophilia as its sort of calling card. These details are part of what circulates in fascist discourse, with deep roots in antisemitic tropes and we should not be led by their arbitrariness into thinking the whole thing is silly or insignificant, or will not have, or is not at this moment having real consequences.


More thoughts https://psmag.com/social-justice/understanding-facebooks-failure-to-deal-with-hate-speech


Today is my birthday. The only day of the year I regret quitting Facebook, as I liked the crazy birthday wishes from people I barely remember.


Happy birthday @cmcavoy :birthday::tada::beers:


There’s always the birthday emails from forums that you last logged into 18 years ago, and don’t even remember exists on the other 364 days of the year. :grinning:

Happy birthday though :slight_smile:




(Yes, my post was 20 characters of thinly veiled plea for HB wishes.)


in honor of @cmcavoy’s birthday I’m pleased to share that I logged out of everything but Instagram a month ago! I was kind of in a fit of self-improvement “my ideal self does not do these things so let’s get there”, but I was surprised how little I’ve missed them.

I doubt that it’s actually taken me much closer to my ideal self, but maybe that idea was hubris after all.

Whenever I get into this mood of changing my relationship to the internet, I’m reminded of this episode of the 00s anime xxxHolic (the x’s are supposed to represent a fill-in-the-blank kind of idea, not … whatever else you might think of there), where the main characters help a woman who is feels addicted to the internet. They advise her that if she’s going to quit, she had better make a clean break immediately.

For this reason, I almost never “say goodbye” to forums/social media sites


Here’s a happy birthday from someone you don’t even know!


kate bush predicted it all back in 1989:

happy birthday @cmcavoy!


I feel like my social media use is a good deal healthier after disabling the Facebook app on my phone. I can still check Instagram at work, but that almost doesn’t count. I’m likely to find myself spending a few minutes on FB per day at home, and then moving on to other things.

My main online bad habit, I guess, is arguing on forums – usually MW or KvR – with people who are much more closed-minded than my expectations, given their choice of hobby.