Bring My Voice Back

In the beginning, it was the blog…Well, not really. In the very beginning it was BBS, but I was too young for that, it was all that came after what influenced me. It was the email, the newsletters and then, the blogs. An explosion of people that had a fairly good access to internet combined with a little knowledge on how to put a website up, and suddenly everyone had a blog. Communities mushroomed everywhere. It was beautiful to see and take part of.

And then Twitter and Facebook landed, hand in hand with the raise of smartphones and free of charge, it gave a voice to even more wider group of people. They removed an already quite low barrier to have your thoughts out there on the internet (after WP, Blogspot, etc came up). And they changed everything, they even helped sprang revolutions.

But everything that has a beginning, has an end. In the case of Facebook, the time came when they sold users’ data to a British consulting firm and helped decide the American elections of 2016 in favor of you-know-who. It was the Cambridge Analytica scandal. By then (2018 when Zuck appeared before US Congress), I was long gone from this platform due to privacy concerns.

Gail Anderson poster

Gail Anderson on Marian Wright Edelman. Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture. © Gail Anderson.

In the case of Twitter, the community had long been complaining about rampant racism, sexism and general toxicity of the website. But the final showdown came with its acquisition in late 2022 by that-who-shall-not-be-named. In this case, the combination of toxic community, little benefit and large distraction was what pushed me to leave it behind in late 2018. But it is now, after the show that followed the acquisition has quieted down a little, when I reflect on the trends around content creation. The newsletters are the thing nowadays, I suppose, but some have claimed that 2023 will be the year of RSS and therefore, weblog-based content. Although, to be fair, this has been predicted over and over again in the past years.

For these past years, I have taken for granted my voice on the internet. I have traded independence for convenience. In light of the state of things, I think it is time to claim my own voice back, regardless if there is anybody who wants to hear (read) it. This will be for me the year to start blogging again. It will be here, and no, I won’t be providing comments or pingbacks, if you really want to get in touch with me, you can do it via email.

EDIT Dec 17, 2023: Updated <figure> elements to include alt attribute.

Typed on Jan 29, 2023