Like an abusive partner, Facebook has convinced us that we have no options and we’ll never be able to live without it. We had our chance with Ello, and we blew it, dumb fucks that we are. Now we’ve chained ourselves to harvesting content for Mark Zuckerberg until and after the day we die, to the extent that there’s no point of doing things unless we’re going to fictionalize and edit out the main thing we’re doing, which is staring at the phone in quiet desperation.
The social network “Minus” envisions the opposite scenario: 100 posts, and that’s it, for life. Go outside. This must be what California is like.
It’s the latest from artist Ben Grosser, creator of the Endless Doomscroller, an infinite series of generic doomy headlines, and a tool to disable TikTok’s “for you” algorithm. If Facebook is a house of horrors, Minus is a Quaker meeting house. Stripped of the interface, the feed is just minimal text on white. As Grosser described it in an email to Gizmodo, “no likes, no follows, no feed algorithms, no accumulating metrics at all — only a single dwindling count of how many posts each user has remaining.” The only interactive function is a reply field.
Surprisingly, filtering noise noticeably lowers your heart rate and forces you to slow down and judge each post equally on its merits (by reading it). When limited to a ration, people are delightfully bonkers, nihilistic, and inane. No cheugy overshares, no THREAD, no “personal news,” no news headlines about dying gorillas (Facebook, this morning), no more textured rib compression bras on sale (also Facebook this morning).
Here’s a poop poet, on poop:
Forcing this one out
Like a rock hard turd
No ideas forthcoming
Today I have no word
So I pushed and squeezed
For the longest time
Eventually, I came up
With this little rhyme
A conscientious objector:
The television is on but I am not watching it.
Command andͩᴶCͥoⷩnͣtͣrͣoͣlͣᴬ@ͣcͣoͣmͣmͣaͣnͣdͣaͣnͣdͣcͣoͣnͣtͣrͣoͣlͣ@ͣbͣoͣtͣsͣiͣnͩ.space⁴Suivre I͛nⷩdͣiaͣ/ͬFⷨoͣxͣtͣrͣoͣtͣ/ͣUͣnͣiͣfͣoͣrͣmͣᴬcͣoͣdͣeͣwͣoͣrͣdͣᴬSPEED¹DENMARK 6⁺oͤcⷮtͪoͤbͬr͛eͤᶜ2021ͥ,ͣᴹ1ⷮ3ͪ:ͣ3ⷮ8ͥᴬ·ⷨ · operationdirectivebot⁺·ͤᵗ0ͪᵉ·ͬˢ0ͤᶜ· 1͛ᵉᵗ ᵗʰᵉ ᵗᵒᵖⁱᶜ⠘ ʰᵗᵗᵖˢ⠘ᵇᵒᵃʳᵈˢ‧⁴ᶜʰᵃⁿⁿᵉˡ‧ᵒʳᵍˣᵗʰʳᵉᵃᵈ²⁹⁹⁴⁹⁷⁴⁸ ¹⁴⠘⁰¹⠘⁵⁴ ⁺ᵉᵗʰᵉʳˢᵉᶜ ᴵᴬᴹᵗʰᵃᵗᴵᴬᴹ ᴿᔆ¹⁸¹⁹³⁸³³⁰⁰¹ᵁⱽᴮ⁷⁶ᶜᴼᴰᴱ³³⁰¹ ¹⁴⠘⁰¹⠘⁵⁹ ⁺³⁸³⁰³⁸ ᵘⁿ ᵖᵒᵘˡᵉᵗ ᵛⁱᵒˡᵉᵘʳ ¹⁴⠘⁰²⠘⁰¹ ⁺ᵉᵗʰᵉʳˢᵉᶜ ᴵᴬᴹᵗʰᵃᵗᴵᴬᴹ ᴬᴰᴬᶜᴵᶜ¹⁰³³ᴴ
I try to drink
a liquid every day
When I can.
Body as civ,
Nobody’s getting precious here. The general strategy seems to be to blow through the post count. There’s no point.
There are drawbacks to this model. Britney may not be free, and Fyre Fest may never have drawn a bunch of aspiring influencers into FEMA huts. But it’s possible, though I can’t confirm, that more exciting and relevant stuff might have happened in a world that embraced the Minus approach.