I'm of the firm belief that our species' brains are not equipped to handle the constant ambient awareness brought on by the "smart" phone and the real-time social media it's enabled.

Someday, maybe. But not now!

If you weren't there- in the 1990s, the Internet still contained occasional cesspools of misinformation, but because it required special hardware (a computer with a modem and a phone line nobody was using), it wasn't as easy to "discover", and it wasn't as easy for services to decide what users should "discover".

Our brains could filter out nonsense much easier when it wasn't pushed on us in magic rectangles.

"I only have a 28.8- I'm not clicking any links I don't have to."

Obviously I don't think real time communication is itself a problem- it's enabled wonderful things like remote family reunions and collaborative projects across cultures and continents.

But the failure to regulate the crap out of algorithmic advertising and dark money is up there on the list of "horrible decisions our species made".

Anyway, a year ago or so, after much reflection, I made the decision to keep my phone on just 1:1 communication apps and email- no social media, no large group chatrooms, no "workplace chat", etc.

If you can do it, I highly recommend it. I've been happier (and more productive) ever since.

It's not quite as good as it felt in the 90s, but knowing that I need to take out my computer to learn "what's going on™" has really helped me find some peace in this world.

If that's an option for you, I can't recommend it enough.

@vkc seriously. Or, at the very minimum, we don't have the tools we need to manage it and what we do have isn't working.

@lawremipsum it's so bad, and I don't know how we get out of it short of pulling the plugs of lots of servers.

@vkc Is it optimistic or pessimistic to think that the multilayer ecological crisis that is going on may pull the plugs (or at leat some of them)?


@vkc I really like this. I took a similar approach, removing any apps that provided “infinite scrolling”.

@vkc I switched 3 ish years ago to a weekly "online sync" workflow. Restricted to Sundays only and everything is via RSS and email. Everything I star on Sunday goes via Youtube Watch Later and Pinboard. Pinboard is consumed via TTS or eink reader. I find the "weekly cycle" stops my swipe to refresh craving. Mastodon was the exception... but that's now on RSS also.

@vkc I’ve been inspired to try an experiment. Because of issues, I’m often awake before I can get up, so I do tend to grab my phone to pull blog posts and news items to read on Kobo later (and now to read Mastodon). But I’ve moved all that to my tablet, and removed it all from my phone, so it doesn’t come with me and tempt me when I’m out of the house.

@vkc i spend so much time explaining to my friends why facebook is a problem, they should use something like telegram if they absolutely have to, etc etc. It goes something like:

- so you get too much info and it's usually from inside your own bubble, blablabla, privacy, blabla...
- now that you've explained it, you're right. Mind blowing!
-will you uninstall facebook from your phone then?
-well... No

@tbari I'm very tempted to share my story a bit more publicly- I was at one point on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram 2-3 hours per day. Getting rid of it has been huge- I often wonder if folks would consider dropping some social media if they heard stories like mine.

@vkc i have everything and the kitchen sink installed, but i disabled each and every notification. the only things that get displayed are chats from my partner, system monitoring alerts and, well, calls. can't disable those, fortunatly noone ever calls me.

all other apps need to be opened to see anything. :)

@vkc i don't know about "species", more like a few rich, white men. the rest of us had no say whatsoever.

@vkc I wrote a blog post a few weeks back about "The WELL," arguably the first online social network. The WELL's director appeared on "Chronicles" with an assistant DA from Oakland at a time when the government was just starting to think about how to regulate online spaces. It's an interesting time capsule if nothing else.


@vkc I do miss the hyper-local socialization of BBSs though.

@morpheo @vkc Yeah, kinda. I was also on some semi-regional networks (like Citadel) but those seemed to have mostly the same people.

@vkc As I recall, before 1994-6, when the World Wide Web appeared, the most publicly-accessible place to find "bad stuff" on the early 1990s Internet was the Usenet alt newsgroups. Alt was THE place for counter-factual conspriracy theory-loving, 2nd Amendment-quoting, gun-toting, alt-right, flame-warring, RTFMing, software pirating types. Reddit, 4chan, etc. all more-or-less follow from the alt groups.

@sqwabb @vkc
Then again, there was also the very popular (and entertaining) alt.folklore.urban newsgroup, which taught me early on to view pretty much anything on the internet with a healthy dose of skepticism.

@vkc There’s good stuff about this distinction in @jomc’s Lurking, if you haven’t read it.

@vkc Modem speeds were the big reason I didn’t click on every link I came across. Using common sense was still a thing in the early 90’s.

@vkc loading and viewing an image? why not, i didn't have anything planned for the next 20 minutes anyway…

@vkc I see your point, but broadband...

I would argue at least 2005s Internet > 2020s Internet. Especially before the great AMV Youtube purge.

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