Jeremy Sarber / Preaching Christ crucified

Quitting social media, online privacy issues, and using tech intentionally

The online tides may be turning. Perhaps people are growing weary of the Internet’s lack of privacy, intentional addictiveness, and incessant advertising. Even the people who created our digital world are speaking out against the technologies which they designed. Steve Jobs famously refused to let his kids have an iPad.

Last month, I deleted my social media accounts. Though I may have lost contact with several good friends, I came to resent the mind-numbing drawing power of sites such as Facebook and Twitter. I already felt meh about these networks. Plus, I became increasingly concerned that I was wasting my life away one newsfeed scroll at a time.

I stopped using Google as my primary search engine. Their algorithms filter search results based on what they think I want to see. Plus, switching to DuckDuckGo lets me search without being tracked. (Have you ever examined your Google search history? They probably know a lot more about you than you realize.)

I also removed all tracking script from my website, tweaked security and privacy settings on my personal devices, and am learning to change my behavior. I want to use these technologies with intentionality and purpose. I don’t want them to use me.

Please don’t read this brief post as a self-righteous claim on my part. Look at me! I quit Facebook. Therefore, I am better than you. I don’t think that at all. I wasn’t happy with my use of these things (or their use of me perhaps) but to each his own. I’ve just noticed recently that I may not be alone, and, to be candid, I hope that I’m not.