This picture from Andy Allen of all the various Twitter-like apps now fighting for attention, along with Meta’s launch of Threads this week, really made me think about the current state of social media in 2023. As I’ve written on this site many times in the past, I find social media to be a fascinating bit of technology that has had a profound impact on life in the last two decades.
I also don’t really like most of it. Hmm.
When I think back to my primary uses of social media, it’s really been as much to stay informed as it’s been to stay connected to people. Since launching this site back in 2006, I’ve supplemented social media with posts here to keep family and friends updated on personal news (and have often automated connections between those services and this site). It automatically produces RSS feeds and content is now pushed to the Fediverse using the ActivityPub plugin. I also love this site as a way to learn new technologies and skills, such as WordPress, PHP, MySQL, Linux and AWS.
It seems like one by one, my favorite social media companies have done questionable things (Doctorow’s enshittification) that caused me to close up shop: Facebook, Instagram, then Twitter. I miss family from Facebook, restaurants from Instagram and some really awesome people on Twitter. I still keep my LinkedIn open for work reasons (after closing it once) and I’ve really grown to like my Mastodon experience. Was never on TikTok or Snapchat and it seems like I will be on the Bluesky waitlist forever (their new domain revenue model is certainly interesting). Don’t think I will try Threads at this point, given my issues with past Facebook products, but I am cautiously optimistic that the promised interactivity with the Fediverse will happen.