Leaving Social Sites

Simplify your online life

In a few months time I will be able to celebrate Five Years Without Facebook. I deleted my account in 2014, and it was the second and final time I did so, because since then I did not crawl back by creating yet another profile. Then there was Google+. I thought about deleting that account, but Google beat me to it. Anyhow, this post is about something else, although the underlying reasons are similar.

My resumé lists all those links to other places on the web where you can learn more about me, but said list keeps getting shorter. End of 2018 I deleted my profile on XING, the European counterpart of LinkedIn, only to be followed by the deletion of my actual LinkedIn profile a couple of months later.

Side note: This is not about some Social Site Detox, such as not reading and posting for three weeks. Nor about leaving the account in a dormant state. No, I took out my data (if possible) and deleted everything without a chance of recovery.

Why?

For me personally, whenever the nuisances — that inevitably come with the usage of such services — start to outweigh the benefits, it is time to leave.

Leaving Medium.com

If we stretch the definition of Social Sites to include a popular writing platform, then let me tell you this: In the latest installment of my ongoing web farewell tour, I’ve left Medium, a place where I’ve been syndicating my blog posts to. Not an easy thing to do if this is the only place where your articles reside, but as I have followed the IndieWeb principle “publish on your own site, syndicate elsewhere”, I could just quit Medium on my own terms. Pulling the plug on them meant that I only had to adjust my static site generator so it would no longer generate references to Medium.

In this particular case I thought the Medium experience was getting worse over time, mostly as a result of their attempt to make money. To be clear, this is perfectly fine, they should try to monetize their platform to stay successful, but that does not mean that I have to keep up with this.

What’s next?

I’ve previously mentioned my attempt to un-Google my Android phone in this post about web fonts, an endeavor that is currently on hiatus, as I seem to be having a bad Android year. Sadly, two phones became unusable because of broken screens. Independent of that, I stopped using the Google mail service quite some time ago, so it is only a matter of time before my Google engagement will be a thing of the past.

If we stretch the definition of Social Sites ever further, there is an app named WhatsApp, that is about to become ad-infested, so I am going bid farewell to them before it happens.

Which leaves me with Twitter. I use it to enable comments on my site, so it is still useful to reach out to people. Time will tell for how long. Until then, follow me if you feel so inclined.