Monday Musings – Sept. 13, 2021 Edition: Alternatives

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It’s no secret that I’ve been working my way away from Big Tech over the last couple of years. I’ve given up Facebook and Instagram and YouTube and Twitter so far. And when I say “given up” I mean I have stopped providing content on those platforms. I also have deleted my accounts on Facebook and Twitter. I haven’t yet deleted my account on Instagram because I want to replace my access with a more private client. I still use YouTube on my Roku to follow those vloggers and other content creators that I enjoy watching.

This blog has become my online posting “hub”, if you will. I now post my vlogs and other videos here, most of the photos I want to share, and of course other stuff – especially the fun stuff on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays! I post various thoughts and quickie posts in my chat box and my intention was – and still would be – to use that for the status updates I used to post on FB or Twitter. However, since I don’t get responses to my updates here it’s not worth the effort; still, I do try to post something there at least once a day! Meanwhile, I prefer to post social-media-related things here rather than spreading them across multiple platforms.

So, the point of all this is that I’m working on further changes, and mulling over the options and possibilities, and those are what I wanted to “talk” about in this post. Here we go…

  • I’m using the Awesome Privacy list on github as a starting point to my research. It isn’t perfect for my needs but it has done most of the legwork I’d need to do in finding alternatives. I also do standard searches (no, I don’t “google”!) for those things I’m seeking.
  • There are a few people on Instagram whose posts I want to follow, so currently I’m looking for something like Barinsta, which has been taken down as demanded by FB. I will delete my Instagram accounts once I’ve got a list of the user names I want to keep…it’s one of those things I forget about doing until I’m almost asleep late at night. (As for posting, I share my photos either here, or on my Pixelfed account, rather than Instagram. I also use Snapchat within my family but, since it is important for my family’s use I will likely not give it up and am not opposed to using it with a few friends also.)
  • The thing I miss most about Facebook, other than the people, is their Marketplace! There are multiple sites that “sell stuff” but none as active or current as FB’s listings, that I know of. OfferUp and Craigslist have become my go-to sites though.
  • De-Googling is my biggest headache. I’ve used Google Voice for many years so I have tons of data on it. I will start using my phone’s functions (once I have a privacy-respecting phone) for calling and texting, and using Google Takeout, which I only learned about today, at least I’ll be able to save my multitudes of information! Not only from voice but from every other app I use. At the moment it is building a file of all of my Google Photos data, but I will do the rest, app by app, in the coming days, during which time I will also decide upon alternatives for each app, although…
  • …MOST of my Google data will be stored somewhere. Pete and I have been looking at cloud storage solutions in which we can backup all of our data including these photos, and files we have stored on Google Drive. And where we can share, link to (for this blog especially), etc. Meanwhile, I have stopped using Google Maps (now using Open Street Map) and Google‘s search engine (now using SearX), at least.
  • Finally…speaking of cloud storage, I would love to run a Peer.tube server, but can’t because our home internet is so slow and the signal so weak. In fact, for those reasons I can’t even use the platform. So finding a place for storage and sharing would ideally include being able to have server space. With all of this, however, I don’t even know where to begin to look…

And that, my friends, is what I’ve been working on, researching, and planning. These last few weeks I have really ramped up my efforts and am making things happen. I am open to any and all suggestions, shared experiences, or other helpful input, either here or by email or wherever. If you’re still reading, I appreciate that!

Now, back to it!

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