I’m done with Facebook, and phasing out my smartphone

This will be unsurprising to anyone who’s even half aware of what’s going on here.

Facebook allows “free expression” — but only as long as it’s a message they approve of.

Forget the part about not allowing “false information about COVID-19 that could contribute to physical harm.” That’s exactly what the agenda is.

They did not even fact-check this post — it was removed immediately by the algorithm, which clearly shows that it’s designed to take down anything that does not support the agenda.

All of the information in the original post is accurate and verifiable, even by their own sources, such as the CDC. And this information is what can actually protect people from harm.

But they can’t allow that. They can’t allow the truth — they can only allow lies which they call the truth, and which they use to call the truth lies, and which they use to hurt people.

People are getting hurt and killed by this vaccine. And people who speak out against it are being portrayed and punished as criminals, by the criminals. (Unsurprising; they are always doing what they are accusing you of doing).

There’s no reason for me to be a part of that.

I’ve been seeing people get banned for years, but this is the first one I have experienced myself. I used Facebook differently than most though — when I first joined back in 2009, it was to get alternative information from independent sources. That’s what I liked about it. I was never into the popularity contest. I liked finding real people, all over the world. It was treasure trove in that way.

Those days are long gone now. After some harsh experiences, I’ve mostly stopped connecting with others and retreated into hermitage, and given up posting since I am pretty sure I was already shadow-banned — my posts were being delivered to only 1-2% of people who “like” my page. So it doesn’t hold much of a draw for me anymore, anyway.

So, unlike most people who ride out their bans until they can start posting again, I have deactivated my Facebook, indefinitely.

Not that Facebook will notice or care. Even if the entire info-warrior scene disappeared from Facebook, it would hardly make a dent. Facebook is there to manage the sheeple, and to collect ad revenue off them.

Sorry, but my behavior is not going to be conditioned by Facebook disciplinarians. I’ll be shitposting on Twitter for now (which is where I got the above meme), though I know it’s obviously not much better, and focusing on moving on to better things, offline.

And possibly getting rid of my smartphone in the next year. It’s not going to be easy, since I use it for so many things, but I am in the process of figuring out alternatives to replace them with.

Hotspot for my laptop — this has been nice, I don’t have to have a contract for home internet service with one of the big ISP monopolies like Charter or Comcast and all the limitations and penalties that entails. It’s especially nice during the lockdown/mask situation, since it allows me to stay home rather than going to a public place for wi-fi, which is now either not open or requires mask-wearing (something I don’t do). There is one public place I occasionally go to and am able to get away with not wearing a mask… but at this point, I’d just rather be in the comfort of my own home.

Music — I like streaming music and do it almost every day, whether at home or on the road. It’s been amazing to have access to pretty much any kind of music, and it’s also how I have discovered new music that I love. And all portable. This is going to be difficult to replace.

Navigation — I look at the map pretty much every day. And even though sometimes the map/directions are wrong and lead me to weird places, I still rely on it, even in my hometown. Not only do I use it to map out the route to my destination, but also to find bike trails, check traffic, find business hours, contact info, and reviews. It has also been a must while traveling, and convenient to save my favorite places. Again, this will be difficult to replace. I could just get a sat-nav unit for driving, which is probably the most important need for this feature.

Camera — one of the reasons I sought out the phone I have in particular — a Samsung Galaxy S8 — is for its camera, which is impressively high quality. I’ve even used it to make photo prints for an art show. However, I also always wanted a “real” camera, and finally got one, so losing the phone-cam feature isn’t such a big deal, though obviously a real camera is more bulky to carry around than a phone, so it probably won’t happen as much. Oh well, good thing I have a photographic memory. 😉

Internet browser, and I do prefer the handheld version rather than reading on my laptop, but not really a big deal to lose it. I rarely if ever take my phone out to Google (or DuckDuckGo) something when I’m out.

Instagram — this has been kind of my dream world. I don’t post much, but I love scrolling through photos, videos and captions that display my interests, including the Explore feature. It’s definitely one of the apps I use the most, even if it is a waste of time. I probably don’t really need it, I just enjoy it and find it relaxing.

Chime — I love this app for managing my money. The main thing I like is that I can transfer money from checking to savings (and vice versa) instantly — I don’t keep a balance in my checking account. Instead, I keep it all in savings, and then move money over for each purchase. Is it a hassle? Not really. I don’t make that many purchases, and it also keeps me conscious that I am losing money with each purchase (so I am less likely to overspend), and keeps my money protected from “free trial” subscriptions that I forget to cancel before they go in and take my money (and you know once they have your money, they don’t give it back. Don’t give it to them in the first place).

About that last point — I really can’t stand these one-sided, non-negotiable contracts with these corporations. Just because I want or need a service, doesn’t mean you should have me by the balls. (That’s figuratively, of course, I am a female). I think it’d be great if banks could protect their customers by alerting when a corporation is trying to access the account for a withdrawal, and giving the customer an option to decline it. Until that happens, I decline everything by keeping it at zero.

This would also protect me if my card is stolen, as a PIN would still be needed to access my savings.

The app is also great for other things, like mailing a check and allowing international purchases with the flip of a switch (not that I’ll be needing that anytime in the near future).

It does have its drawbacks too, specifically around cash. Depositing cash is a hassle — you have to find a “green dot” store that accepts it, and pay a deposit fee at the register of course. Withdrawing can also be a hassle, including fees, unless you use one of their approved ATM’s or cash back at a store checkout. It’s also not possible to deposit a check or get a cashier’s check with this bank.

For these reasons I’ve recently opened an account at a local credit union. I still prefer to use Chime as my main account, for now anyway. And I vastly prefer it to carrying cash. I know there are dangers with using debit cards, but carrying a lot of cash just makes me nervous. I’ve had cash stolen. No one’s ever stolen my debit card. I think if you are smart about protecting it — really, it should not be used for online purchases, not only for the reason I mentioned above, but — let’s say if your card number gets stolen — in the case of a credit card, you can file fraud and it’s magically wiped away. In the case of a debit card — that’s your money, gone.

WordPress — obviously for my blog, but doesn’t get as much heavy usage on my phone as on my laptop. I definitely prefer having a full-size keyboard for typing. But I don’t know that I’m going to keep WordPress. If the censorship starts here too, I could migrate my content to a self-hosted blog and domain, but even then, you’re in the WhoIs database. Any ideas for alternatives here?

Google Voice — It’s Google, which is a drawback, but it’s VoIP, which is very convenient. You have to have a working mobile phone # to set it up, but once you do, you could lose your network and still keep your VoIP number (and use it over wi-fi) for free. It’s not perfect for a primary phone number, but it’s a great backup. Since I’ve already set mine up, I could ditch my smartphone and just use my VoIP number through my Google account on my laptop.

Instacart — This service was nice during winter when I didn’t have a car and didn’t want to trudge through snow, ice and freezing temperatures carrying bags full of groceries. That, and not being harassed by mask nazis at the stores, are the main advantage to this app, but it’s not something I want to be a permanent feature of my life. I like food shopping. I like picking food out myself, especially when it comes to produce. I like being able to get it immediately, or whenever I need it, rather than having to wait for delivery the next day. Service fees and tips add up. And you know you are not getting the same price as the people buying in the actual store. I could totally live without this app, and prefer to, infinitely preferring to buy from local farmers and vendors at a small outdoor market.

Other apps: Email, Calendar, Notepad, YouTube, Clock (alarm/timer), Amazon, Kindle, Calculator, AllTrails, Astrology, Skyscanner, Snapseed (photo editing), Pinterest, Moon phase calendar, Zoom … meh. Won’t be difficult to replace or do without.

One app I definitely don’t ever use or need is Covid Track and Trace, and even had to take steps to remove a tracking feature which had been surreptitiously installed on my phone at the start of lockdowns last year. And I will not be using a Covid vaccine ID or “passport” app either — one of the things that inspired this move in the first place, the other being — why does every website read my location as Washington, DC? Hmm…

And as far as the phone itself, I’m not totally convinced that I need one — I’ve gone without before — especially since I have a VoIP setup (though it is Google, so, might have to look into a replacement for that).

And it will be nice, to not be part of this planned obsolescence anymore, and to set my own terms of service.

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