The home of Aaron Traas — man of faith, science, and very bad humor

I've made the decision to withdraw further from social networking. Specifically Twitter, Google+, and Reddit.

As I mentioned now over 4 years ago, I want to exit Google. I've made very little progress in that, other than removing Google Analytics from my site, and today, deleting my Google+ account. First and foremost, I need to find a replacement for Gmail and Google Calendar. That's going to hurt.

I don't think social networks are healthy. They make us unhappy. They track us in creepy ways, even those of us that don't use them. They make us mentally keep up with the Joneses, but in a distributed global fashion. They algorithmically push us into filter bubbles. They make us hate the other even more than we're naturally predisposed to. They are hostile to the open web, and treat your relationships, likes, photos, etc. as their property, not yours.

And yes, Facebook is far and away the worst actor. But only because they can get away with it, whilst Google and Twitter can't. They own your connections to your friends and family, and there's nothing you can do about it. Facebook cannot commit an evil act so grotesque that the average user would leave. There's just too much perceived utility.

Youtube and Reddit just changed their terms of service, signaling they don't want people like me on their platforms. I've deleted my Google+ account. I've un-followed everyone on Twitter and set my account to private (I'm squatting on my username so no one else can impersonate me). I've removed the Reddit app from my phone, and am considering deleting my account. I'm keeping LinkedIn, but that's purely professional, not personal, and is necessary for my career advancement.

If anyone wishes to contact me, please reach out to me using a federated protocol.

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