The Problem: Populism and Toxic Social Networks

 

Social media platforms are the perfect places to deny nuance in favour of extreme opinions – and we are hooked on them, says author Jamie Bartlett

Source: Why is populism booming? Today’s tech is partly to blame | Jamie Bartlett | Opinion | The Guardian

From my own experience, it is nearly impossible to have a calm, rational, courteous discussion with dissenting opinions on either Facebook or Twitter.  They either become echo chambers filled with yes men and women or nasty fighting street mobs or sick stage platforms for those who revel in being easily offended.  In every way they are toxic. You should not be immersing yourself in toxins of outrage, indignation, fear and snark every day.  It’s not normal, it’s not healthy.

Is Blogging a Better Alternative?

I’m not talking about all of us launching political blogs. I’m talking about reigniting our independent spaces once again. Turning up the volume on our individual voices and real-life stories, sharing our values…creating an alternative to the mass media (now social media) messages and memes that keep floating to the top.

Source: Can blogs rebuild America?

 

I think the answer is Yes.  With your own blog you have control, you set the agenda, you create your own independent space, you make the Web the social network, uncontrolled by corporations and unmonitored by advertising tracking.  At first, coming from FB and Twitter, some of your old habits of ranting and trolling, might carry over to your blog.  You start off still filled with the toxins of those places.  But over time, away from the mobs, you start to detox – you rediscover your calmer more reasoned, nuanced and measured voice.

My Case for the Everything Blog

AKA personal blog or web presence.  These are blogs that generally represent you.  This blog, ramblinggit.com is one example.  Over at my directory at Indieseek.xyz, these give me fits because they defy categorization and they are hard to write a description for unless I am a long time reader.  But regardless, these blogs represent your voice.  Each post is about something that interests you.  All my failed attempts a blogging from well over a decade ago where because I tried to make my blogs too specialized.  With a personal blog, it’s about whatever is on your mind.  Each post is not the definitive answer, rather, it’s you thinking out loud.  Your thoughts will change over time and that’s fine, because the blog represents the journey of your thinking.

So, I highly recommend you start with a blog that represents you with no agenda.  Write about what interests you.

First Steps

Get yourself a RSS feed reader if you don’t already have one.  Personally, I use Inoreader.  Equally important get your friends to start using a news feed reader too, because when you start blogging you want your non-blogging friends to follow you!

It also helps to subscribe to blogs and see what other bloggers are doing and to be exposed to diverse voices.

Further Reading

IndieWeb generation 4 and hosted domains

The way out

Breaking up Facebook is up to us

Academic Blogging: Why Blog?

 

I’ll probably make this into a series of articles, outlining what i think are the best blogging option for you to choose so stay tuned for followups.

Part 2 is here.

This was also posted to
/en/blogging.

 

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