The Great Disconnect and Digital Exile

I come from a country where in the last century a number of our most famous writers have left these shores for a life of enforced exile. You’re not going to compare yourself to Beckett or Joyce now (are you?) I hear you ask in disbelief. Why no, not at all. But I have been trying to construct an analogy for what I feel must be done to reclaim ourselves in these empty digital times.

I will be leaving the world of social media and instant messaging. Not that anyone will care. I have few followers on any given platform, nobody hangs on to my every given word. And that’s okay with me.

I am sick of silos.

I want proper federation. I want my social media to work like phone numbers, postal addresses, email, and internet relay chat. Federated and open.

Here is a list of the digital silos I use: Skype, Viber, Instagram, Linkedin, Twitter, Academia.edu, Google+, Hangouts, … they’re just the main recognisable ones, the list goes on and on. It’s a royal pain in the neck managing them all and every silo is yet another opportunity to be fleeced, sold, upsold, and monetized in various ways.

All these companies need to come together to agree on a common federated instant messaging and social media standards and then build those standards into their products. Open Social made some waves at one point and I thought diaspora* was going to take off but then it didn’t.

Instant messaging can be broken into two parts: text and audio/video. Social networking and instant messaging should be kept separate.

I will still be contactable. If you want to get in touch with me in writing you can email me. If you want to talk to me you can call my number. And for nostalgia’s sake you could always pop it in the actual mail.

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