I designed my first website back in 1995 using the now antiquated HTML 1.0 language - I mean yeh, BASIC! 😁 - and it was about making toast because... um, why not?
I started my first blog around 2003 or so back on Blogger when they were just an outpouring of our own angst and woes - a personal diary set loose on the world.
When I deleted the damned thing I extracted all the entries and once in a very long while (every couple of years) I take a quick look and am struck by the authenticity of it - there was no hidden agenda, no desire to be seen in a different light - and, it was well written.
I've loved the internet since the very first time I got my hands on it back in 1995. In fact I was at University doing a Biological Sciences degree - but you wouldn't have found me in the science lab... but the computer room at 4am "chatting" to Americans online? Hell yeh! So within a few months of starting the biology degree, I switched out to Software Engineering.
Back then it was chatting in forums, IRC (text-based messages) or message boards. We connected in a way modern social media channels have never been able to touch and I have wondered if that's because it was pre-digital photo, so there was no emphasis on feeling the need to "curate the perfect image" - instead you could simply be you through the medium of your keyboard.
Then in around 2006/7 or so a more "boasty" type of networking came along and the entire dynamic changed.
The introvert in me loved it - because me and a keyboard? EXCELLENT! Me heading to a concert/theatre/nightclub/whatever with hundreds of people? aaaaaaaargh - that's me running (slowly) for the hills!
But the landscape changed faster and in more ways than we could ever have imagined. Instead of showing our personalities and engaging on a deeper level, Social Media turned in to a vaguebook/show-off book designed not only to be addictive - but as we've all recently found out - designed to have a detrimental affect upon your own mental health and self-esteem.
People built their businesses on SM - were told they didn't need a website, everything could be done on FB - yeh... assuming you never fucking swear, never hit like on something mildly controversial, don't step outside the narrative - oh, and don't wake up one morning to find your account inexplicably deleted!
And then came meta... 🙄😞😭 - and "if you're not worried about this then you haven't been paying attention".
At some point you need to decide to BE the change and if you were the woman who could even now potentially take up a political career because despite your *ahem* colourful youth - anecdotes won't ever stand up in court the way photographic evidence would... 😂👍 then YOU get to BE the change... if you're brave enough.
Before all this meta shit blew up this week I was reading through comments (not ironically of course on FB itself... ) about why people are using FB to market their business.
The most common (and IMO lazy) answer was that "everyone's on FB and you need to go where your customers are" - and this is something which has bugged me for years.
But, but, but - I am fucking delighted to say I was far from the only one feeling distinctly uncomfortable with the "FB approach" and making concrete steps to do/be better elsewhere and build something for their community which served them better.
Kinda funny that I actually made the big leap away from FB last week before the meta announcement... because I'd come to the realisation that it doesn't matter how many billions of users there are on one particular channel - that in itself is actually a BARRIER to building QUALITY relationships and making connections that MATTER.
Why? Well, because the FB entry bar is set SOOOOO low it requires no thought or real participation to get "numbers". If they're on FB anyway, then hitting the like button is almost an involuntary reaction - especially given the algorithm is designed to keep you in its clutches - keep on scrolling - keep on hitting like.
That like on YOUR post, your EFFORT has gone in the scroll and forgotten about in exactly 1.4 seconds.
I decided to BE THE CHANGE I wanted to see.
The NEW Social Community for Discerning Women Entrepreneurs
So I've created a community on an independent platform. It's for DISCERNING women entrepreneurs who want to build those genuine connections and be able to visit a community which answers their questions and desire for human interaction (which we all have, even us introverted ones!) - but without the insane "being yanked by a chain" addictive nature of FB and for those who are very INTENTIONAL with their time.
It's a more gentle form of Social Media and it's for those who want to live their lives without distractions because I think we'd all puke into our shoes if we were given a number written on a piece of paper to show how many hours we'd wasted on FB since 2007! 😭
What do I mean by gentler interactions? Well, for me over the last few months I've been making a move to enjoy my media INTENTIONALLY.
In the last month alone I've bought 3 CDs having not bought any for years, which allow me to immerse myself in an artist - and not jump from song to song as an algorithm decides what I'd like to listen to next.
Yesterday I was driving through the hills pelting out at full volume Miley Cyrus' "Heart of Glass" - yeh! That's what I'm talking about! ❤️ Pure pleasure.
I'm reading books. You know, REAL paper ones which need to go on shelves. Sure, it's easier to pick up your phone and scroll, scroll, scroll - but books are instruments of pleasure and it's time we took back control of our lives.
I belong to a few forums for random things and it feels like pure indulgence when I pop in to catch up as opposed to constant pull/drain from SM as we know it.
This weekend I deleted my SM apps off my phone - I'll admit, not the first time I've done this - but hopefully this will be the last time as I move into living my life BETTER for me... and not for a fucking algorithm written in a fancy office in San Francisco!
If you are ready to make the change, be more intentional and make genuine connections with women like you (i.e., the ol' Rebels singing Debbie Harry in the car 😂) then do swing by The Rebel Alliance - just clicky click on the little icon at the bottom right of this screen and you'll get a preview.
In a nutshell, it's like an old-school forum with threaded conversations and profiles - but with all the fun modern stuff too like emojis & gifs - because yeh, I may be as old as the hills - but life isn't worth living without gifs! 😂