Today is Data Privacy Day and it’s got me thinking about viable alternatives to Facebook that don’t monetize your attention, sell your data, feed into your worst mental habits and instincts, and generate society-altering echo chambers. This query is highly personal for me so I’ll provide some context.
For the past 8 months I’ve been on a privacy binge. I deactivated my Verizon account and iPhone and bought a flip phone with cash, buying a minutes card to refill it every couple of months. I also got rid of Facebook. I’ve realized recently that the self-imposed isolation was not doing my mental health any favors. I was turning into the classic cantankerous old man, the “get off my lawn, you damn kids” kind. I’m 26. In fact I now identify with this cantankerous old man trope so deeply that I feel that I actually understand and empathize with those people - they are lonely and desperate for human contact, but either can’t admit it or can’t easily find it. In any case, I decided that I need to stop being a hermit and socialize again. I’m waiting on the Purism phone dev board to ship later this year. However I’m ambivalent about returning to Facebook. I feel like I’ll be trading hermit-ism for mindless scrolling and FOMO and being a cash cow cog in the Facebook machine.
So I started looking for privacy-oriented alternatives. The only one I found so far is Minds. It seems oddly Twitter-ish, has weird monetization and boost incentives, and is planning a token sale, the last of which is a red flag to me.
So from a personal standpoint, I’m wondering if anyone has experienced anything similar.
From a technological standpoint, I’m wondering if anyone has used Minds and/or has found another/better privacy-oriented social media platform. Another way to put that is “Are there ways to stay in touch with friends and plan get-togethers and hear about things your friends are planning without selling your soul to the devil?”