When taking the decisions I have about leaving the major social networks over the past few years (LinkedIn, Instagram, Google+, Facebook, Twitter) and moving towards a more #indieweb online existence I am aware that I am placing myself within a certain community with certain ideals.

James Shelley's farewell to social media and Andrew Canion's post about replacing social media are two cases in point. They echo my thoughts but that's only to be expected, we gravitate towards the similar and gather in places like micro.blog, refuges from the abuses elsewhere.

However, we must not allow these refuges to become echo chambers like those we claim to abhor and have left behind.

I'm happy and comfortable with my position but have to be equally comfortable with the decisions of others, have to hear other opinions, and not close myself off saying that "this is the only way."

It's the way that works for me and that's all I can be certain of.

While James removed all the data from his Twitter and Facebook accounts (something I also did a while before finally deleting them) he has opted to retain them as "living directories" and a last ditch method of contacting people when no alternative exists. It's a clever use of the system - the utility without the futility - and always provides the option of a hassle free return should he want it, should things change for him.

Social networks provide a lot of good for a lot of people and this can't be dismissed out of hand even if some choose to demonise those very same networks.

We can educate and warn but we cannot, and should never try to, choose for others. We should not force our decisions or our reasons on them, for they are not us and have a different perspective.

  1. mina says: #
    @colinwalker I think the use and consumption of Social Media should be controlled personally. I have left out Facebook, because I had issues with the platform itself. But I still have Twitter, and I would say I am active there, but my social network usage is actually very low.

    So we have to control how much social networking we need in our lives. Also the content we consume. I follow many people on Twitter, but I do not read all there tweets, I have selective list of accounts that I make sure to read all tweets. And for the rest, I can skim through each day or two.

    1. Colin Walker says: #
      And that’s your choice. It works for you and everybody has to find what works for them.
  2. mina says: #
    @colinwalker Yes, sure, I totally agree. I am not trying to mandate that here nor I would say it’s the perfect workaround. You were asking about the readers thoughts, and I was just sharing mine.
    1. Colin Walker says: #
      I wasn’t trying to imply you were, merely re-stating the point with your example as the perfect illustration.