On the whole, technology has been good to me.
In the mid-1990s, I was able to connect with a music magazine in Ireland--my first paying writing gig--via Hotmail. Over two decades later, I'm still writing for them. in 2009, Twitter connected me with folks who became good friends, online and face-to-face. Through them, I was able to shift out of a career that was slowly killing me with stress to begin a decade-long stretch of freelancing. Working remotely during that time, I found that I had a lust for travel, and as a consequence of one of my adventures, met my wife. Recently, I was able to land a full-time gig, still remotely, mind you, that has provided me with a steady income and a fabulous group of co-workers I'm happy to see on Slack every day.
That said, I'm also sure that a lot of the tech in my life is making me miserable.
Facebook is hot garbage, that tracks my movements across the Internet without permission. Twitter is full of thieves waiting to steal your joy and fill your days with dread. Instagram, owned by Facebook, often leaves me feeling expectant and desirous of accolades for my photos from people I've never met. Of late, outside of my work life, I've been taking strides to limit my interactions with tech and social media. I've donated all of the hardware I don't use on a routine basis to local charities, stepped back from owning multiple computers to just one and perhaps, best of all, have started relying on Flickr as a way to share what's going on in my life with the people I care about.
There is no bullshit with Flickr. No one has ever tried to sell me anything as I scroll through the photos of the few people I follow. It provides me with the means to not only store off-site copies of the images I care about, but also share them with my Facebook and Twitter acquaintances without ever having to open either app. Most importantly, it's quiet. It's rare that I get a notification that someone likes one of my photos or that new people I've never met have started following me.
It's nine kinds of lovely and, ironically, it's one of the online services I've had an account with the longest. God knows why I ever strayed.
Image via Wikipedia Commons