Tech Migration, Misc. Thoughts on the Web


It's been a strange few decades on the web. Back in the 90s, I would have killed for something like YouTube. I remember thinking it a shame, even back then, that video (or rather, media) hosting on a personal web page was so bandwidth intensive. Then YouTube came along and, today, provides an effectively unlimited amount of bandwidth and excellent publishing tools to anyone who wants it, provided they don't piss off one of Google's interns by holding the wrong political opinions.

I've also wanted something vaguely similar to Facebook for quite a while. A nice, convenient, centralized place where everyone you know IRL and any number of neat strangers can get together and communicate like one big happy family. Frankly I liked MySpace better, but quantity has a quality all its own and Facebook has an overwhelming monopoly on that brand of social media.

The longer this went on, though, the more I began to notice that there was something being lost. Something hard to place, but obvious when it's gone. A sort of human element, replaced by clickbait and algorithms. The web came so close to becoming what I wanted, but is now, somehow, a cold and degenerate thing that I almost feel addicted to. These habits of mine, these small hits of dopamine have almost completely replaced other more fulfilling wastes of time.

As dumb as it sounds, I almost took a sort of pride in being a slacker. It was easy and it felt like something I was doing on my own terms, but now... this all feels different, you know? It feels like I'm part of a horde that's been enthralled by subversive corporate interests, that they've used some of the worst parts of my nature to rope me in, and I only ever notice it occasionally.

It's for these reasons that I'm not so broken up about Silicon Valley letting the mask slip a little bit. For those reading in the future, our Tech Oligarchs (that is, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Spotify, etc.) are now making it a regular habit to openly coordinate against competition and their political adversaries. These being exclusively left-wing outlets, that means one-sided application of intentionally vague terms of service and a large number of glitches that almost only ever seem to flow one way. They regularly lie and collude to shape political action and affect elections; it's disgusting, truly.

They've given me the final nudge I've needed for the better part of a decade. It's no longer the case that I can't imagine these services they provide no longer being a regular part of my life, not if these are the people whose pockets I'm lining. Even if my withdrawl makes no difference to them, it will make a difference to me, and that's good enough.

I won't pretend that I won't watch videos on the internet or anything like that, but this past month or so I've already undergone a bit of a change in the way I dwell on the internet. Given some time, I feel I can transition even further, removing more of Silicon Valley's influence from my life. And thank Christ for that.

If you're interested, here's a list of a bunch of alternatives to Big Tech that I've come across. Some of these I'm already using, check 'em out.