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A reintroduction, reclamation, and rebuilding

Hello! The name I was given at birth is Michael Robinson. You may have seen something I wrote in the past. Only a handful are worth preservi...

July 5, 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 developers. Twitter did this over the years. Then they crack down on people who don't fit neatly into the boxes adored by advertisers. Then...you're trapped.

But you aren't trapped. Not really. Growing a blog or newsletter or whatever takes longer without these big walled gardens. So what? That's how it was before they came along. You can still do it.

Growing numbers with RSS and newsletters takes longer, but you don't have to work as hard to keep people coming back. And you own that connection. Sites like Twitter and Facebook own that connection when you depend on them. You might lose 90% of subscribers if you switch newsletter providers, but at least you won't start from 0. Zero is hell.

What happens if Twitter shuts you down? You're just gone. Unless you have another way to reach people. If you must use these sites, use it to direct growth to platforms you control.

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