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Showing posts from July, 2019

Twitter isn't your friend: FOMO and self-promotion

Remember that post about changing priorities?

I think fear of missing out (FOMO) makes most people use sites like Twitter or Facebook. They might know how harmful they can be, but the fear keeps them enthralled.

People who want to promote the things they make get a second tier of the FOMOmenon. They aren't just afraid of missing people. They're afraid no one will ever see the things they worked hard to create!

I've been there. When a post is a hit on social media, it's great. A billion hits I didn't have to do much for. Neat. And then...nothing. You have to keep getting those hits. Or you have to keep re-retweeting your links so everyone sees them. This is exhausting.

Technology is supposed to free us. Technology is not supposed to lock us down or make us afraid and dependent. Every startup backed by billions of venture capital dollars heads down the same road. First they lure you in with "engagement." Then they lock the platform down, shutting out app de…

But what does it mean?

Twitter says I "earned" over 270k impressions in the last 28 days.

Reddit says I have over 13,000 "karma."

I have almost, maybe more than, 10k points on Hacker News between accounts I've made over the years. All of them were exploration.

Most of the connections I made on these sites fade away if I don't stay there. Even the connections I maintained depend on participation on other things: chat rooms on Telegram or Discord, message boards, et cetera. These people are notoriously difficult to get to know elsewhere.

I'm aware of all the tales of people becoming great friends online. Even I had such a story! But it turned out he only connected on Twitter, and he was glued to the app in person. Trying to pull him away for a substantial in-person conversation just led to resentment on both ends.

You know all those '90s shows about virtual reality gone wrong? People jacked in and that was it. You never saw them again unless you joined up. I hate to sound l…