A year ago, I was active on the Twitter, Reddit, and Mastodon social media platforms — I wasn’t exactly a “doom-scroller,” but I kept tabs on all three pretty regularly — with no expectation that would change any time soon.
Well, it did.
I’ve already recounted how I left Elon Musk’s Twitter, only to come crawling back because I missed the information I could glean from it even now. However, in the ensuing weeks, I found the experience increasingly less useful. Finally, I noticed that I no longer was going there much, after all; so, today, I once again left.
In somewhat similar fashion, my departure from the Fediverse was motivated more by growing indifference than anything else. But, unlike my feelings about what Twitter has become, I still wish the Fediverse well. I just lost interest in staying.
As for Reddit: what caused me to leave it1 was its decision to price its APIs beyond what devs of third-party Reddit apps could afford. I deleted all my old Reddit content and killed my account a few days ago, prior to today’s sad announcement of the death of the Apollo app because of Said Reddit Decision. That event would’ve been the last straw had I not already made my move.
Don’t misunderstand. I’m not claiming purity. I still spend what probably is too much time viewing stuff on Hacker News but I’ve sensed the quality of even its discourse subtly, gradually eroding in recent months, so it may be next.
I was a daily user of Facebook for the better part of a decade, but I did finally cease to care, and killed my account. That was over six years ago, and I’ve never looked back. We’ll see whether I can be equally resolute about these latest goodbyes to platforms which, in my view, have outlived their usefulness — certainly to me.
Update, 2023-06-09: Ironically, a few hours after initially publishing this post, I received an invite — requested weeks ago, before my social media ennui had set in — to the still-in-beta Bluesky. I’m giving it a try as @brycewray.com (it lets you use your custom domain as a handle), and finding some nice folks that I’d followed elsewhere. Perhaps this experience will be somewhat less meh. One can hope.
Further update, 2023-07-21: After a few weeks, I realized I’d lost interest in Bluesky, too, so I deleted my account there today.
Further update, 2023-09-08: I’m back on the Fediverse, as @BryceWrayTX@fosstodon.org. Although I once worried that my non-FOSS-related observations would make me a bad guy on the Fosstodon instance, I decided the simple fix for that was to limit those observations to a minimum. I am enjoying once again being able to follow a number of developers, and other very smart folks, whose observations and insights I value greatly.
I should add that, in recent months, I hadn’t really been that active on Reddit, either. ↩︎