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Author Topic: Why should someone switch from social media to a personal website?  (Read 432 times)
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« on: December 30, 2023 @853.55 »

I'm writing an essay for school about why participating in the indie web is better for one's mental health than using corporate social media, and I would love to hear the melon people's thoughts on this subject! (The more you write, the better)

I don't think I have the vocabulary to effectively express myself about this yet, so I'd really like to hear yall's stance on this, why you think that, you're feelings about the indie web and social media, etc.

The main ideas of my essay focus on the addictiveness, cyberbullying, and mental health problems that are associated with social media, and then also focuses on self expression and creativity of creating your own website compared to having your own social media page. I will probably also go into some depth about safety, how to surf the web, and learning HTML. This essay is supposed to be 5-8 pages and I honestly think that writing about websites is the only shot I have at having that much to say about anything ever, but I'm still trying to find the words to express myself so hearing thoughts from yall would be really helpful :)

Thank you! - Seraph  :4u:

edit: thank you guys for your responses so far, these are definitely helpful :grin:
« Last Edit: January 06, 2024 @738.61 by seraph » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: December 30, 2023 @941.55 »

Learning HTML and CSS kick started my love for web design/development and it all started when I by-chance stumbled upon www.yesterweb.org because coincidentally I was writing a paper on Web design Nostalgia! I really bought into the anti-social media aspect that it challenged and I never really realised the effect social media was having on me.

Social Media

I quit social media about a year ago, the only exception being YouTube for educational purposes, I have suggested content blocked by an addon and I culled my subscriber list to show only valuable content.

An observation I've made and the straw that broke the camels back is the amount of hatred you seen on all social platforms these days. Anything that has some semblance of virality always has a abundance of hateful things being said about the content. The amount of Anti-intellectualism, Dog whistled hate speech and plain nastiness was so insane to see. It made me wonder, has it always been like this? "trolling" as a concept has always been a thing, but this kind of "new hate" seemed to just be seemed to be purely hateful with no subtly or nuance, just pointed insults. I would see this kind of stuff on a daily basis really dampened my mental health. I'd often wake up daily and scroll through Instagram and read these things and it really effected my day.

After I quit I'd often find myself picking up my phone to look for app icons, only to realise "oh yeah, I don't use Instagram anymore" that's scary right? The absolute hold these services had on me was almost crippling. I'd do this behaviour all the time, particularly when I was supposed to be concentrating on projects and work. However Life has slowed down for the better since quitting. I'd doom scroll a lot and I'd end up doing nothing outside of work most of the time. It's crazy how much time you save in the day when you remove these services from your life. A key thing to remember is, your attention is a currency and they all want it.

Social interactions became different people would say stuff like "have you seen the tiktok" or "did you seen my Instagram story?" and of course, the answer was always "no" and it surprisingly opened up a lot more dialog to be had. I did lose some friends purely because the only way we would communicate would be through memes which I didn't look for anymore.

But overall my life has definitely improved and I would encourage anyone to take the plunge to leave social media, my mental health is so much better.

The Indie Web

The indie web itself is very pure and wholesome, there's no trickery afoot with anyone's page. It's brutally and unapologetically a reflection of the creator and that's the most beautiful aspect of any of these websites. The mundane nature of a webpage with "no purpose" is ironically charged with so much creativity and honesty. The experiences I've had are unforgettable compared to the contemporary web where everything is forgettable.


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« Reply #2 on: December 30, 2023 @965.27 »

As a musician who uses social media as a business necessity, i’m learning that the two can go hand in hand. I’m finding that social media is an excellent launching point to your personal (or professional) website. Social media has the algorithms that bring us together. Websites can make you stand out in a field of data points. 

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« Reply #3 on: December 31, 2023 @18.15 »

As a musician who uses social media as a business necessity, i’m learning that the two can go hand in hand. I’m finding that social media is an excellent launching point to your personal (or professional) website. Social media has the algorithms that bring us together. Websites can make you stand out in a field of data points. 

I agree with this so much! Social media seems like the perfect tool to use as a gateway to personal websites. I already see a lot of people online starting to do this more and more and hopefully one day it becomes the norm.

As for why I think people should switch from social media to a personal website, I just think its overall better for communication. The way social media sites are setup its almost impossible to have an actual good conversation. People can easily misinterpret your words in a very "You like pancakes so you hate waffles" type of way. It also feels like you're always having to put on a performance so you can get likes instead of just simply having interactions with people.

In a way it feels like people have become sanitized products and I guess it can argued they have in a way. With personal websites it very much feels like an individual is able to take power back and be able to properly express themselves on the internet.


I found this article that explains something called context collapse is and I hope its helpful with your essay. Good luck!  :ozwomp:

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« Reply #4 on: December 31, 2023 @20.90 »

almost all social media websites eventually turn into just a marketplace for businesses in some way. it's crazy how it seems people forget how we used facebook back in its infancy. there werent "pages" for stores and folks selling you stuff. it was just a bunch of people poking each other and writing on our "walls".

its hard to explain because it was so long ago and a lot of people came very late to it, when it was already starting to establish itself as a market and selling place for goods and services.

Think of your closest city/downtown and all the stores, hotels, restaurants, libraries, pools, cinemas, etc etc. Before facebook, you would either call them, or check their websites or flyers if you needed info about them. Or maybe you'd ask someone you knew who worked there.

The thought of these places using Facebook was just ridiculous. Why would they? They werent people poking each other and writing statuses like "Name Namesson is ______"

That's like, if you now had a discord group with your friend, and suddenly your discord group was infested with every single marketplace or goods or service place, just spamming your private discord group chat every single day.

People also barely remember how things were before upvotes, likes, engagement etc. Because it feeds you a feeling you get addicted to. I remember not knowing why, but I just got like a hot tingle every time someone "liked" my facebook statuses wayy back when. Before reactions were a thing, it was just a thumbs up. Posting a ~kewl~ status (like a movie quote or something awesomely epic) that made random friends press thumbs up, awww yeah that was the good stuff. But back then we didnt know much about that.

Now, almost all popular sites have some form of giving you a lil treat for posting something "good". And you need it, you want it, you start yearning for it, missing it. If you wish to kick the habit, you have to remove the temptations from your sight... isn't that strange? That we just live like this now?? A bunch of zeros and ones that come together to look like an upvote, a thumbs up, a heart.... and we're scrambling to get them. That is social media.

I dont think there is a way out of it. We stopped too late... almost every single large social media platform is riddled with ads in some way, or companies trying to fit in with just people who are trying to chill. I cant enjoy myself on a platform where an ad or a stupid ass "promoted tweet/post/whatever" is shoved in between everything.

We also have to remember that all social media platform has an agenda. First, they want you to spend as much time on it as possible. And they want you to buy stuff off their platform. And they want to control your feelings, so they can more easily get you to spend time and money on their app/platform. They're using you, they're mind controlling  their users. I dont mean that in a tinfoily way, I mean that as in, they are using your data against you. You think TikTok is showing you what you "want" to see out of the goodness of their heart? No, they're using learning tools to try and catch every single emotion you have at any time, in order to keep you in that state as long as possible, so you'll see ads inbetween and keep scrolling.

I want to rule my own emotions and time/money spent online. Sure, I use a few social media platforms, but I'm actively trying to not get too involved in it, because I know what they want from me, and I dont want to give it to them.

I'm a bit tired and I cant form any coherent thoughts, I didnt even answer your question, hahaha, but yeah, these are my rambling thoughts for today.

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« Reply #5 on: December 31, 2023 @89.19 »

Just for yuks, to mix it up a bit :tongue: Making technology your own is a licence to be irresponsible and to actually enjoy that technology, all the deeper meanings can come later if you want them; but I think just having fun is the most universal language and therefor the most powerful for someone to discover and have in their lives.

There's what, like 5 billion social media users? Most of us have tendencies to take life too seriously and to lose that spark of joy you have when you're little. We bury it in all sorts of value systems, in hatreds and fears and paranoias, and in trying to turn ourselves into other people's ideals.

Social media creates this quest for perfections, but perfection is impossible, so really it creates a society where everyone is shamed for being imperfect.

When you hand-code a personal website, you will get things wrong, so on a very technical level your site will be imperfect, it's in the architecture of the idea so you've gotta accept it! I'd much rather build a digital reality that allows people to love imperfection and forgive flaws rather than punish them.

Ultimately the web is a reflection of humanity and the future will judge us by the things we create on the web today; that future is not abstract, it's made of people like you and me, with joys and worries and cravings to eat too many Oreos even though they'll regret it because they are way too salty!

I just hope we can leave them something they won't be ashamed of, that will raise them up, not bore them, and give them something to love. I think if you can do all that for the future, then you'll have done something worthwhile; and little worthwhile actions are the closest thing I've found to giving life the kind of meaning we all tend to hope for  :eyes:

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« Reply #6 on: January 04, 2024 @752.08 »

To be totally in control of their own content and to have complete creative freedom, without a corporation controlling everything. We need to get back to the internet being about cool, quirky websites. Put the power back into the hands of the people!

:pc: Bring back the old web! :pc:
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