True social networking and communicating platforms and other tools
Being a very curious person and a teacher always in the pursue of innovative means to convey the message and to help my students develop their skills and evolve into better human beings has been the drive for my willingness to learn more and explore new ways of doing things.
Since a very early age, around my 12 years of age, when computers started to be a thing in Portugal, I had the luck of being given one by my grandfather. It opened the door for more exploration and new discoveries.
One area that I must confess I'm very fond of is social networking. Another one is communication. Well, social networking is a form of communication. I also like photography very much! And many other things... But, let's not allow this list to grow bigger...
So, my main use of the Internet revolves around communicating with others, whether it is through social networks or any tool that allows the communication with others and also sharing/viewing photography related sites.
My WordPress has been my main anchor on the global network, as well as [Flickr](João Pinheiro | Flickr. I've also jumped on board of Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp at some point. And I was very active using these tools until I decided that I had had enough of being robbed and exploited! So, I dropped them all at the same time and decided to explore the Internet world! I decided to go back to the true Internet, that Internet where we can use software to do what we want.
So, I started searching and I found that this force that pushes people to live inside the garden walls of #GAFAM blocks the view to the whole world outside. These platforms are designed to create the addiction to their content. They offer some services while stealing so much from us! They endanger societies and restrict our view from the world! They seem to offer freedom while restricting our capacity to use our brains.
In the beginning, software was a tool, a tool to write a document, a tool to send a message, a tool to send an email, a tool to express our opinion and to share ideas, files, a tool to share and search for information, etc.
Today, most software has become a tool to steal data from its users, to create and analyse people's “profiles”! Oh! I almost forgot, they also allow people to write documents, send messages and emails, express our ideas (provided that they don't go against the all powerful), share files and information, etc.
But there's still hope! You can still find many many tools that allow you to do what you need without being spied on, without being stolen and abused every single second and without being the victim of machines that build images of you that don't correspond to your true self.
The world of Free/Libre Open Source Software is the perfect place to start your quest to find the tools that you need to work, communicate with family and friends and share memories, ideas, moments with whomever you choose!
The needs of most people that use smartphones and PCs can be fulfilled by #FLOSS! You can use #Hubzilla, #Friendica, #Diaspora, #Pleroma, #Misskey, #Mastodon, #Write.as, #WordPress, etc., to express your ideas and connect with friends and family through nice interactive blogs; through #Pixelfed and #PeerTube you can share your photos and videos; #Nextcloud and #LibreOffice enable you to share files of all sorts and to process your office documents; and you can use #Dino, #Gajim, #blaber.im, #Element, #Quicksy, #Conversations, all (except Element, which works on Matrix) based on the proved XMPP standard, #Briar, #Tox and #Jami to communicate with your family and friends in a private and secure way! You can use #Calibre to organise your eBooks, #Shotwell to organise your photos, #Audacity to record and edit your podcasts, #Shotcut and #OBS Studio to create and edit videos, #Gimp to edit your photos and #Thunderbird and #Tutanota to send and receive emails. And these are only some examples of FLOSS that you can use and support if you want to!
Therefore, dear reader, the power of changing the way we interact with the world around us is really on your hands. On yours and mine. I've made my choices. Some were made long ago. Others more recently.
The point is: If I could change the way I use these marvellous tools in order to protect my privacy and my freedom (and those of my loved ones), therefore helping protecting everybody's freedom, so can you. Are you willing to change? Failing to do so is the way to empower dictators and to see them stealing our freedom of speech from our hands. For how long are you willing to go on cooperating with them?!
As you can see, the true social networking and communicating platforms and other useful and honest tools are still out there! You just have to take your stance!