I have taken myself to Walden Pond. The only tweets I hear will be from sparrows and titmouses.
I have deleted Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. For different reasons. Facebook broke my heart with its careless and cynical handling of personal data and fake news. Twitter never pretended to be anything but a jungle, but for now I’ve had enough of trying to hack my way through its tangle of hate and lies (most notably from our president).
I love social media. I was early on Facebook and Instagram. But I don’t love what they’ve become. I would like to see a paid subscription model. That would get rid of the advertising pollution and exploitation. It wouldn’t sort fake news from fact, though. Until algorithms get much better, the only way to do that would be to apply to social media the defamation rules newspapers live by: if you publish a defamatory lie, you’re liable for damages.
That would be a Good platform. I could meet my friends there and we could chat the way we do in person, without worrying that someone is trying to exploit us or is lying to us (well, no more than we all lie to one another about little personal things).
It could be a long wait for Good.
In the meantime, I’ll keep up with my friends directly and say what I have to say more broadly in essays in print or on the radio (thanks for the opportunity, KQED).
And I’ll keep writing this blog. Follow it if you're interested.
Otherwise, look for the smoke from the chimney of my cabin in the woods. There will be a sign on the door saying “Novel in Progress,” but you’ll be welcome anytime.