Social Me(dia)

I have not been a fan of social media over the years. I created an account on LinkedIn when I was looking for work, but other than that I avoided them. Primarily because I've seen little point in sharing with the whole world what my relationship status is, what song is playing on my sound system right now, or what fantastic meal I've just eaten. I don't like their terms of use and privacy policies (mostly, they can do whatever they darn well please with everything you post and there isn't anything you can do about it), or their advertising, or their focus on entertainment, and I especially dislike their filtering of what they think I should see.

Nevertheless, this is the twenty-first century and I will try to keep up (to some extent), primarliy for the benefit of my descendants, some of whom seem to actually care about what's going with me. So here are the places you might find me:

E-Mail
james@jdcard.com is still the best way to find me. I keep a couple of backup e-mail accounts at https://protonmail.com (for more secure messages), and at vivaldi.net because it is helpful to have an alternative as a backup or as an additional contact point for account verification (like when you're locked out of an account and you need some other way to communicate with the admins). The two backup accounts are only checked occasionally (when I'm testing and updating my security details).
Text Messaging
Don't look for me on Facebook Messenger or whatever the current rage is. I sometimes hang out in IRC chat rooms (see https://webchat.freenode.net/ for an example, if you aren't familiar with this old-fashioned form of text messaging), mostly in connection with a particular topic of interest to me. If "text messaging" means SMS/MMS cell-phone text messages to you then the app I use for that sort of thing is Signal, offering secure encrypted transfers of text, voice, video, document, and picture messages to individuals or groups. You might also find me on Telegram, but Signal is my preferred choice.
Voice / Video Messaging
POTS (plain old telephone service) is still king of the hill here. Yes, we still have a "land line" at our house -- well, it's actually VOIP from Voipo running on our CenturyLink fiber connection -- and we have our cell phones (see Ting for a good deal) that we use when we're not at home. For video, I still have Skype installed though I've never actually used it beyond a couple of test calls; I prefer Whereby for video chat now, and no, I don't think Zoom is a good choice.
Social Media
I deleted my LinkedIn account after Microsoft bought the company -- besides, I'm retired now and don't need to maintain that set of connections any longer. But I have given in and joined two other social media sites: I find Nextdoor useful for local connections, and MeWe for the time-wasting perpetual scrolling of timelines and personal feeds. If you've ever hoped to find me on Facebook, this is as close as I'm ever likely to get. Oh! I almost forgot that I joined WT.Social, which is something like Reddit, as near as I can tell.

At least the choices I've listed above come closer — I believe — to respecting our rights to privacy and control over our personal data; though none of them are perfect.


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