The Least Horrible Social Media Sites For Anyone Who Wants To Be Less Unhappy
Almost everyone agrees that large swaths of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok and Reddit are terrible, each in their own way. But these monolithic social media platforms are so ubiquitous that it’s easy to forget you’re not have to use them. Which doesn’t mean you have to give up social media altogether: there are less obnoxious alternatives that will still allow you to participate in life online.
These smaller, more disjointed social media platforms aim to either fix the more egregious mistakes made by their bigger siblings, or provide niche experiences that big social media companies can’t/won’t. . Below are alternatives to five of the most popular social media platforms. None of them are perfect, but they are at least different, and probably less terrible. Plus, if one of them really hooks up, you can be the first to complain about how much better it was.
Ditch Facebook for MeWe: Freedom from Advertising and Tracking
There are tons of reasons to join the crowds fleeing Facebook – its terrifying targeted advertising policies, its rampant misinformation, people using it to plan genocides, your cousin Gary – and just one reason to stay: the sheer number of users. Eeverybody is on Facebook, and that may be the problem.
My suggested Facebook alternative, MeWe, offers many features that will be familiar to Facebook users – groups, private chats, tagging, content permissions – and has a Facebook-like look and feel, but WeMe is less diabolical. It is completely ad-free and does not track or sell its users’ data, staying afloat by offering paid premium services. Disadvantage: There would be 16 million WeMe users, which may seem like a lot, but it’s a drop in the bucket compared to Facebook’s almost 3. billion users.
Switching from Twitter to WT.Social: news with less misinformation and hysteria
I had a Twitter account since 2010, but I can’t. I just want links to interesting news and the occasional cute cat pic, but Twitter seems determined to serve up maddening and toxic nonsense. The site is awash with hysteria, misinformation, manipulation and bitterness. If you’re fed up like me, check out WT.Social.
Launched in 2019 by Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales, WT.social is completely ad-free and dedicated to fighting misinformation by allowing users to flag and edit any post, like a certain famous online encyclopedia. There are no advertisers to appease, since the service is paid for by voluntary donations, and WT.social says its mission is to “foster an environment where bad actors are weeded out because it’s right, not because it suddenly affects our results. ”
Going from Instagram to 500px: Better photos, less psychological trauma
Instagram has long been known for its devastating effects on the mental health of young people. The photo-sharing platform has been linked to depression, self-esteem issues, social anxiety, and other issues. It’s run by the same people who run Facebook, who seem determined to make social media experiences as addictive as possible. If you’re a photographer and don’t want to put up with any of that just to show off your photos, you should go to 500 pixels.
The philosophy of the platform is built around quality images, so you can view and post photos in high resolution. The algorithm that determines which photographs are widely shared is less based on your number of followers than on the “likes” of people who don’t follow you. There are even opportunities to monetize your work.
While 500px is for photographers, if you like looking at to pretty pictures, this might be the service for you too. Unlike Instagram’s mix of images, ads, and videos, 500px feeds only contain photographs and aren’t based on Zuckerberg-style algorithms, so you’ll only see what you want to see.
Going from TikTok to, well, something
TikTok is the almost universal choice for young people wanting to watch and share shorter videos. TikTok is so huge right now, it has no realistic challengers (other than old-school YouTube), and none on the horizon – but that doesn’t mean there aren’t. any alternatives. Here are a few video-sharing apps that offer things TikTok doesn’t.
- Triller. This app makes the already simple process of posting videos online even easier. Triller uses AI to edit videos on time to pre-selected music.
- Flying. If you’re worried about your important political views being censored by TikTok, this lightweight moderation platform will let you spout all the dumb nonsense you want.
- Shock. Created by one of Vine’s co-founders, Clash focuses on short videos and isn’t designed as a challenger for TikTok so much as a sidecar: it allows creators with existing followers to interact with and monetize their audience into exciting new content. manners. But it also means users can more easily interact with their bookmarks.
Switching from Reddit to Discourse: less stupidity, more intelligence
It’s hard to believe now, but for a few years after Reddit launched in 2005, it was a discussion forum for smart people. Unfortunately, the popularity and aversion to curation and moderation leads to dumbing down of content and a proliferation of hateful and annoying users. For a smaller, more focused discussion community, try Discourse. The stated goal of this open-source forum platform is “to elevate the level of civilized discourse on the Internet by providing it with better discussion software.” In practice, this means that trusted and frequent users have a say in how communities are run; it is easy to report bad content; and there is robust, user-customizable curation. Plus, fewer people are using it, so it hasn’t been ruined…yet.