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Cobra!
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« on: December 24, 2021 @965.72 »

I was reading a post on Gemini about someone who has deleted all of their social media apps on their phone, and mentioned how they kept looking at the screen afterwards, expecting to be able to scroll through a timeline.

I did the same thing with my iPad, and had experienced the same thing. It almost felt like withdrawal. I literally stared on my iPad screen, looking for something, anything, to take up my time and have that dopamine rush.

Afterwards, though, I felt like I had time to actually time to play games, read magazines and watch films. Days feel a lot longer now, too. I actually feel a lot happier.

It's made me realise how dangerous and detrimental social media can be to your mental health, and it's a wonder why it isn't discussed more.

That's not to say Social Media is all bad, just mostly. I think Twitter is good as someone who makes games and wants to write stories and make films, as a tool to help garner attention towards projects, but overall I think social media does way more harm than good. What are your thoughts?

Has anyone else done this? How did it go for you?
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« Reply #1 on: December 25, 2021 @66.76 »

That's actually how I found this community... I was reading into quitting social media and I can't remember how exactly I stumbled onto Neocities exactly, but somehow or another I landed onto Melon King's site, surfed through a lot of links for a while and admired the creativity everybody put into their unique websites, and eventually I landed on the Yesterweb. Then after reading through some of the manifestos listed, I decided I should take the plunge.

I honestly don't think social media has ever made me happy, aside from texting friends (and I don't need something like Instagram for that at all!) It's just felt like a giant trap. I mean, sure, I like having a convenient place to put all my photos, but sharing them on social media feels more like a form of peer pressure than anything. It's what I'm "expected" to do... not something that I've ever really done to express myself.

So, I've broken up with Instagram, which is the only social media I've really been using. I might be a bit out of the loop on local events, but really, I don't miss it. At all. I feel the same as you, the days feel longer and I've been able to work on a lot more creative projects. & I've been a lot less grumpy about random, meaningless internet garbage.

I guess this forum is still a form of social media. But at least it's not always in my pocket, giving me notifications all the time. And there's nothing to endlessly scroll.
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« Reply #2 on: December 25, 2021 @67.45 »

Back then, when I first made my Twitter account, I didn't even realize what I was actually doing, I just used it. It wasn't until I got "Cancelled" that I found out how terrible it really was to my health. My mood took a fall, I was feeling sorry for the things I did to others even if they forgot about it entirely, and started thinking negatively about life. I am fine now but we should definitely think more often about the damage to a person's mental health caused when contributing to internet drama than what they did wrong. Distancing from the problem can help, Staying near it and telling it to go away won't solve it.
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« Reply #3 on: December 25, 2021 @118.41 »

This is a heavy topic (personally speaking), and I really appreciate hearing people's perspectives and experiences thus far. @Cobra! I have also always wondered why the issues around social media aren't discussed more. I imagine if I were to pose this question on somewhere like Twitter, I might get the response of "well, just log off!" -- which is a very flat reply to a much more complicated issue.

I suspect that social media, at this point, appears ubiquitous to our online society. We all acknowledge the risks of doomscrolling, but we shrug it off as a necessary evil to consume content from our favorite creators. I think it is exactly that willing dismissiveness that can make social media so insiduous. Anyhow, the issues around social media are definitely one of those things I think most people who have been on the net long enough recognize... but it can be hard to articulate why, and I suspect the fact that most platforms seem to discourage meaningful introspection does not help matters either. Fortunately, we've got this forum to have some proper discussion, and again, I truly appreciate hearing everyone else's experiences so far.

A bit on my experience...bear with me, for the length! :defrag:

For context, I speak from the perspective of a creative who liked sharing work online, and did not fully utilize the 'social' aspect of social media : P.
  • My first breakaway from social media was with Twitter, several years back. At this point, I had become fairly disillusioned with my own creative worth. I no longer felt like I could create the things I wanted to create, because they were not "trendy" nor fit a popular aesthetic. And I'll be honest, as a certified windbag, 140 characters...just never felt like enough, to create meaningful connections. On a more sinister level, that sort of brevity seemed often to only fuel misunderstandings or long-winded fights. I never got personally involved, but having to watch my feed become inundated by those kinds of interactions...it was very easy to be put in a foul mood. The largest "wake up" moment was realizing every other post in my feed were promotions or tweets from people I didn't follow or even liked, and that the content I actually wanted to see was no longer within my control. This platform no longer was serving me in a manner that was healthy, so I went cold turkey and never looked back.
  • Instagram was the second breakaway more recently, though there is not much new to say here. I find it quite telling that you cannot (if I understand correctly) turn off DMs. Sure, Instagram also has the issue of turning into a gigantic storefront, an algorithmic nightmare, and all that other stuff -- but personally, it was the inability to truly control and curate my online experience in a healthy manner that led me to leave.
  • Tumblr...well, I admit I am only one foot out the door with this platform, though in these last two months, I have rarely used it in lieu of building my home on Neocities. I always did have an affection for this platform because of how utterly broken it is. In retrospect, there was a lot you could control: you did not need to have anonymous asks, or any asks at all. You could turn off direct messages. You could technically even have a private blog. You could customize your blog page. Ads were utterly incomprehensible, and nearly a joke in of themselves. However, I still struggle with metrics on this platform, knowing my audience size, and becoming fixated with the number of interactions my posts get. And this sort of interaction no longer really feels meaningful, either. I suspect I will eventually stop using it soon enough, or at least, simply cease posting until I have something I feel is worth sharing there. Creating a personal website...really gives you everything you could ever want, and more.

Ultimately, I think that current mainstream social media platforms can serve some people if you are willing to play the game, or are trying to promote something you have created and aren't adverse to self-promoting hard. They are predominantly for those who want to sell a product or service, and that can be great for the budding entrepreneur. However, these principles do not align with how I wish to spend my time online, so my feelings are definitely a bit more adverse haha.

To end on a positive note, since departing from most social media platforms, I have also found my time and creativity has returned to me in a startling capacity. I have created works in mediums I thought I had abandoned years ago. I have learned so much more about coding sites, stumbled upon countless interesting and fun web pages, discovered things I would likely never have if I had not distanced myself from social media. In short, I am endlessly grateful to have found a community in Neocities and other small-web sites that nurture the creative and curious spirit of the internet. It is reassuring to know there are others who feel similarly about the state of the web, and that there are people passionate about keeping the web a fun and human place to be. :blush:
« Last Edit: December 25, 2021 @148.54 by Nightdrift » Logged

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« Reply #4 on: December 25, 2021 @158.48 »

The sad thing is, people on Social Media is so deep into it that I've seen twitter basically deny the fact harms.

Usually they'll say that "It's school" or work that's bad when, all three are the reasons why people have bad mental health for different reasons. This makes things worse because it will basically normalize the toxicity and downright malicious design of social media by downplaying how bad it is.
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« Reply #5 on: December 25, 2021 @324.85 »

Thanks @Cobra for creating a very interesting thread. It's funny you mention https://midnight.pub. It's a place I created almost two years ago, out of frustration of social media. I don't think social media is bad, but I think the current landscape is. There are dubious questions around how data is being handled and potentially monetize, or how algorithms can influence the mind of members. As Nightdrift said, it's a heavy topic.

Overall, I just feel like the connections I make on social media aren't as strong as the ones I make here for example. Here I can't "follow" you back, or "like" your post. You're not looking for that either. We're all here because we like exchanging with one another, not to build a follower base. The motivations are different.

Sure, when we post a new photo on Instagram and see that 20 people have liked, there's a dopamine rush. But I'd trade the likes for a single meaningful comment. It's easy to click a button, it's hard to put thoughts down.

Then there's the whole economy of attention. I don't like notifications. I know how useful they are, but they remove magic. I'd rather not know someone replied to a message I posted, and discover it out of surprise. That's one think I love with Gemini for example. People speak to one another through messages on their sites, without a commenting or notification system. But it's okay. If it's important, we can let each other know through out-of-band systems like emails.

The analogy I took with Midnight Pub was that of a, well, Pub (or bar). When you go there to unwind after a long day, you're happy to meet people and share a drink or two. But when you leave the pub, you don't want them to follow you all your life and be notified on your phone when one of them posted a new picture. You can just hop back in the pub and hope to see them again, or meet new people.

There's the idea of slowness that I love. Not everything needs to be fast. Current Social Media build on anxiety and the need to consume and write content "now". But we don't need to. It's okay to take a month to reply to someone. It's okay to not write for years. There's no need to feel anxious about that.

I could probably go on and on! I'll stop for now :smile:
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« Reply #6 on: December 25, 2021 @488.10 »

I don't think social media is bad, but I think the current landscape is. There are dubious questions around how data is being handled and potentially monetize, or how algorithms can influence the mind of members.
Yeah, I might go as far as to say Facebook, Twitter, Reddit etc. aren't really social media. Being social clearly isn't the goal. The goal with them is to get likes and follows and become more popular. I guess this is fine if you're a creator or entrepreneur, but pretty toxic if you're just an average joe.

I think Midnight Pub (Thanks for creating a brilliant site/capsule, btw!) and Station are real social medias, as the aim for them is to be social. I post on Station because I want to see replies and what people think about a certain subject. Station has likes and follows, sure, but no emphasis is placed on them at all. I don't even know how many followers I have!

Things like forums (like this one) and BBSes are also way more social than Facebook can ever hope to be. Like Midnight Pub and Station, I interact there because I want to talk to people. It feels amazing that this thread has gotten the activity that it has and I love reading all of the replies, hearing your stories about this subject! Means way more to me than any number of likes ever could!

I think what feels better to see still is when someone emails or sends you a message on XMPP about your site or whatever. I got an email from someone who liked my capsule, and it felt amazing receiving it. I've emailed some webmasters myself, and they seem equally thankful that they got an email judging by their replies! :cheesy:
« Last Edit: December 25, 2021 @491.41 by Cobra! » Logged




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« Reply #7 on: December 25, 2021 @687.91 »

I love what you're saying about email Cobra! I know a lot of people can feel reluctant to put their emails on their sites, and it's true that having a mail on the net can lead to receiving a good amount of spam. Hopefully most email solutions are getting better at handling these, and emails can make it's way back into being the official DM solution of the net. :smile:
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« Reply #8 on: January 11, 2022 @589.22 »

I can't find where I read this (it was somewhere on Gemini), but I read that the term "users" to describe someone who is a regular at a website was one coined by Silicon Valley as an analogy to compare to those addicted to drugs.

This probably sounds like a tinfoil hat conspiracy theory, but come to think of it, I don't think I've heard the term "users" in the context of the internet before Facebook came along. Like if you were in a forum, a BBS or an IRC chat, you weren't a user, you were a member, right?

Not much else to say, just figured that was interesting.
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« Reply #9 on: January 11, 2022 @604.61 »

I can't find where I read this (it was somewhere on Gemini), but I read that the term "users" to describe someone who is a regular at a website was one coined by Silicon Valley as an analogy to compare to those addicted to drugs.

This probably sounds like a tinfoil hat conspiracy theory, but come to think of it, I don't think I've heard the term "users" in the context of the internet before Facebook came along. Like if you were in a forum, a BBS or an IRC chat, you weren't a user, you were a member, right?

Not much else to say, just figured that was interesting.

I was curious so I did some digging while my lunch is cooking! The term user seems to be quite old.

I found one paper from 1968 that uses it http://www.bitsavers.org/pdf/mit/lcs/tr/MIT-LCS-TR-056.pdf
and another from 1956 that uses it https://www.mirrorservice.org/sites/www.bitsavers.org/pdf/ibm/7030/1956_fallJCC.pdf
"to every user of an electronic computer"

But it is true that computing and drugs are almost the only fields that call the people who use them as users :omg:k: I think its more poetic coincidence though.

EDIT:
From what I can see the term "user" in tech comes from at least the 1920s. Its used a lot here in a law on radio transmission rights https://scholarship.law.marquette.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?referer=&httpsredir=1&article=4367&context=mulr It might even pre-date the use of user in reference to drugs which is kinda interesting!
« Last Edit: January 11, 2022 @655.91 by Melooon » Logged


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« Reply #10 on: January 13, 2022 @197.21 »

I can't find where I read this (it was somewhere on Gemini), but I read that the term "users" to describe someone who is a regular at a website was one coined by Silicon Valley as an analogy to compare to those addicted to drugs.

This probably sounds like a tinfoil hat conspiracy theory, but come to think of it, I don't think I've heard the term "users" in the context of the internet before Facebook came along. Like if you were in a forum, a BBS or an IRC chat, you weren't a user, you were a member, right?

Not much else to say, just figured that was interesting.

You know, on this topic, there are terminologies on the internet I personally don't care for: "users" and "followers" being two of them. Maybe this does not impact a lot of people's experience with the net, but I have struggled with "follower"/"following" as terms -- never really cared for it, kind of always thought it was...feeding into something sour. I think deviantArt used "watching/watchers", which...maybe is step down from the whole "figurehead" aspect the former terms always brought for me, but I'm not sure what I'd want to substitute the words for anyways. Anyhow, it is a small thing, but I do think it has shaped a bit of modern internet/influencer culture, in some senses!
« Last Edit: January 13, 2022 @235.03 by Nightdrift » Logged

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« Reply #11 on: January 13, 2022 @661.74 »


I was curious so I did some digging while my lunch is cooking! The term user seems to be quite old.

I found one paper from 1968 that uses it http://www.bitsavers.org/pdf/mit/lcs/tr/MIT-LCS-TR-056.pdf
and another from 1956 that uses it https://www.mirrorservice.org/sites/www.bitsavers.org/pdf/ibm/7030/1956_fallJCC.pdf
"to every user of an electronic computer"

But it is true that computing and drugs are almost the only fields that call the people who use them as users :omg:k: I think its more poetic coincidence though.

EDIT:
From what I can see the term "user" in tech comes from at least the 1920s. Its used a lot here in a law on radio transmission rights https://scholarship.law.marquette.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?referer=&httpsredir=1&article=4367&context=mulr It might even pre-date the use of user in reference to drugs which is kinda interesting!

Fair enough

You know, on this topic, there are terminologies on the internet I personally don't care for: "users" and "followers" being two of them. Maybe this does not impact a lot of people's experience with the net, but I have struggled with "follower"/"following" as terms -- never really cared for it, kind of always thought it was...feeding into something sour. I think deviantArt used "watching/watchers", which...maybe is step down from the whole "figurehead" aspect the former terms always brought for me, but I'm not sure what I'd want to substitute the words for anyways. Anyhow, it is a small thing, but I do think it has shaped a bit of modern internet/influencer culture, in some senses!

That's a good point, actually. The term followers seems to imply some sort of hierarchy. I guess one way to mitigate that at least in the context of Twitter, at least without getting weird looks, is to say "I have x people following my account" instead of "I have x followers"?
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« Reply #12 on: January 13, 2022 @785.22 »

I have enjoyed reading all of your replies. I'd like to add that I've noticed that social media has influenced me to not enjoy having my own personal webspace as much as I should. I love having my own space to put whatever I want, and make it look however I want, but I keep feeling like I need to market my "brand". I don't even have a brand! I just want people to see my site and like it and share it because then that will make me feel like I'm doing something special. But it doesn't need to be like that at all. Why can't I simply enjoy existing on the internet and stop wondering if people are reading my "content" and "liking" it. I don't have to be an influencer. And I don't like that term at all, but in a way, I want to be that because I have been influenced to want that. That's not what I want as a person, that's what I want because everyone else wants it. And here people are on this new resurgence of the personal web who are just doing what they want, and it doesn't matter that their websites aren't sleek and new looking, it matters that their websites look good to them and that they are putting out there what they want, not squeezing themselves into a gated community that thrives on both over-sharing and isolation. I cannot have a real debate with anyone on social media because of the terms of use. I don't think I would post anything offensive, but the conversations I want to have would bring out some offensive topics that would get anyone put in Facebook jail. I want to have the difficult conversations that can't be had in a gated community like Facebook, Twitter, etc. We can't break new ground and reach across the aisle to our family without having honest debates that would absolutely get heated, I'm not naive, but I really think those conversations need to be had. The algorithms foster only echo chambers so no one's ideologies are questioned, so no one considers that they are wrong. I love sharing the web with people who disagree with me. I want to be challenged, everything deserves to be challenged. If someone's beliefs and wisdom cannot stand up to criticism, then why believe those things? But those conversations can't be had on Facebook or Twitter, or even the so-called "free speech" platforms that arose in the wake of the election.

I'd love to know all of your thoughts on that. I hope I'm not being too political here, I know those are hot topics and I don't want to derail the conversation about social media poisoning us, but I really feel like it goes hand in hand with politics because that's unfortunately where politics is right now. I think we are where we are economically and politically because of social media.
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« Reply #13 on: January 13, 2022 @895.17 »

Let me tell you something. I may not look like it, but I was a frequent Microsoft Live user since I was around 10 years old. I would chat with Nikita and other people I know using Live Messenger, and post whatever the heck I wanted in Live Spaces. My photo gallery consisted of crudely drawn MS Paint images, such as Barney the Dinosaur going to the dentist. Sure, I once reported someone for swearing online, but hey, I'm a child, how do I expect to know better?

Then, in 2010, Facebook came to the forefront.

I wasn't sure about this Facebook thing, as I've been taught in school not to share your personal information online, because people can use it to abduct you. And now everyone is using it?

Eventually more and more people got into Facebook. And on January 1, 2010, I became one of those people who got hooked.

Long story short, I learned a few years later on that the social media is being used for profit and making money over quality. As a result, I became less active on Facebook in the following years, and would only visit it to play games such as Monster Legends or chatting with people I know.

And to make things worse, if you post something on Facebook then your FAMILY AND FRIENDS WOULD KNOW. Even if you change your profile picture THEY WOULD KNOW. Once time, I changed my profile picture to a Pokemon Sprite of a Wailord/Heracross fusion and my sister got made at me for it. She said it would make me look bad when people look for me for a job interview. :notgood:

And please don't get me started on TikTok. I went there to see what the fuss is about, and it was the worst decision of my life. My mum caught me using TikTok one time and told me not to use anymore because I should be doing things that are more productive than the 'crazy shit' that I watched on TikTok. I stopped using TikTok that day, and I could not thank her enough! :smile:
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« Reply #14 on: January 14, 2022 @23.80 »

I keep feeling like I need to market my "brand". I don't even have a brand! I just want people to see my site and like it and share it because then that will make me feel like I'm doing something special. But it doesn't need to be like that at all. Why can't I simply enjoy existing on the internet and stop wondering if people are reading my "content" and "liking" it. I don't have to be an influencer. And I don't like that term at all, but in a way, I want to be that because I have been influenced to want that. That's not what I want as a person, that's what I want because everyone else wants it.
Once time, I changed my profile picture to a Pokemon Sprite of a Wailord/Heracross fusion and my sister got made at me for it. She said it would make me look bad when people look for me for a job interview. :notgood:


Ugh, "branding." :innocent:
We have to be professional enough in real life, why did we decide we need to be professional on the web too?
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