September 24, 2020•404 words
I love technology, I always did. Some ma call me a 'tech enthusiast', and I kinda agree with that. I'm an excited tech early adopter, but at the same time a staunch digital minimalist. Best of both worlds if you ask me.
There's one 'innovation' technology brought us that I truly hate: feeds. The infinitely-scrollable, constantly refreshing, AI-generated feeds. Those feeds. The sewers, as I like to call them.
Those feeds are a mess. The information there is not presented in a coherent way, just random 'updates' that the algorithm thinks may be relevant to you. But how many things you'd like to be constantly updated on? Answer that on your own, but the answer is probably much, much lower than the algorithm wants you to think. So much context-switching, a feed is like a mind that cannot settle on a single thought. Lately, it seems, we've started to think like the feeds. All the time but with no context. No reflection. Just consumption.
But, there is important information hidden in the feeds! Among all that garbage, all that shit, to be frank, lies the occasional-valuable-update-I-want-to-see. Oh what can we poor mortals do? Nothing, it looks like. Give into the machine or die.
During the past few years, I realized there is a way to avoid the sewers, but still harness the power of technology. First, no AI-developed feeds. None. Block the Facebook main feed, stay off Instagram. Subscriptions on YouTube, Tweets displayed by date published, not 'relevance', and Reddit posts sorted by 'new' or 'best' are ok. Because they've been manually chosen by me beforehand. I'm only allowing myself to see the things I remotely care about, the things I value. Second, search instead of consuming what has been delivered to you. I don't follow many people on Twitter, but I like to stay in touch occasionally with many more. So I search for their profile from time to time and see what they've been doing, thinking about. Same for YouTube - I subscribe to only ~10 channels, and search for all the others I like to watch. Anytime there's somebody new I'd like to follow, I add them to a checklist I have, and manually check them out every once in a while.
Things become so much cleaner, so much nicer this way. No noise, only signal.
I do not want to be fed, I want to hunt on my own.