Peter Hunter

@peterhunter

Movement was my way out of addiction. Open minded plant lover, BJJ novice, Acro intermediate, advanced rebel spirit.

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Alternatives to Facebook's Functions (WIP)

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First, let me introduce you to a beautiful framework to be aware of as you read the list below of alternatives to Facebook's functions. It's Cal Newport's divide-and-conquor approach to handeling Social Media and other technologies described in his newest book Digital Minimalism (2019). He lays out a plan to reboot your digital life according to your values in three steps:

The Digital Declutter

  1. Define specific technology rules for a 30 day period, where you stop using "optional technologies".
  1. Take the 30 day break from optional technologies and follow the rules
  1. Reintroduce selected technologies

This recipe should help you use digital technology to serve your needs. However, to avoid overuse, distraction and wasted time, he suggests a stringent set of criteria for which technologies to reintroduce. Here they are verbatim (p. 77): 

The Minimalist Technology Screen

To allow an optional technology back into your life at the end of the digitial declutter, it must:

  1. Serve something you deeply value (offering some value is not enough)
  1. Be the best way to use technology to serve this value (if it's not, replace it with something better)
  1. Have a role in your life that is constrained with a standard operating procedure that specifies when and how you use it

Regardless of whether you try Newport's digital declutter, you can immediately stop using or replace certain technologies today, if you sense they are not the best way of serving your values. With this in mind,  know that Facebook wants you to think binarily: Either you use Facebook or you don't. 

This allows the to entice you into their ecosystem with some feature you find important, and then, once you're a "user", deploy attention engineering to overwhelm you with integrated options, trying to keep you engaging with their service well beyond your original purpose

- Digital Minimalism, p. 76

But you don't have to fall for that. Facebook is a conglomeration of different functions, which you use to different degrees and that you can use or stop using consciously. With this in mind, it can be useful to know alternatives to specific functions. 

Facebook in general

Guides to Facebook Alternatives:

Selected alternative social networks:

Messenger

Please read Restore Privacy's review of private messenger apps)

Events

  • (local) websites
  • Talk to people
  • Doodle - For smart scheduling 
  • JotForm - Forms 
  • TypeForm - Forms and questionaires

Groups

Buying Selling

Birthdays

  • Contact people via text or email when you congratulate their birthday. 

  • Sounds laborious? Consider not congratulating as many people on their birthday.

Recommendations & Tips

  • Ask friends
  • Search the internet, read books, research yourself 
  • Yelp

Jobs / CV

Niche cultures / Subcultures / Activism

See groups, events etc. Many movements, grassroots and subcultures have been built through FB, this is a hard one

Far away or old friends and family

  • Save your friend's contact details! when finishing educations, jobs, projects etc 
  • Consider if someone is important enough to worry about if you are not willing to spend the time to write them personally 

News 

Facebook is NOT a news service. Pay journalists for quality work. 

  • The Guardian
  • Information (DK)

  • Weekendavisen (DK)

  • Zetland (DK)


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