• Carmen

a guide for using alternative media

1. Choose strategically

Using too many platforms is overwhelming, so it's important to limit it to the ones that will actually help you achieve certain goals. Personally, I'm going to limit mine to:

a) Facebook, only for keeping my public writer page and the Staseos page as places for people who like my writing to find.

b) Instagram, because it's the place where I gain the most new followers (particularly young women who are looking for Christian/conservative content.) However, I'm looking into an alternative now that looks very promising.

c) MeWe. The reason I chose MeWe is because it's the most like Facebook and will likely be the most conducive to replicating active groups. I think the most productive purpose of these alternative platforms is connecting with like-minded people so we can take action together (have discussions, attend events, help people who are being bullied/harrassed etc) without the fear of censorship.

2. Intentionally make the switch

Treat switching platforms like an event. Pick a day on your calendar and decide that, by that day, you are going to stop using Facebook or Twitter for any reason besides posting to your business page. Set specific parameters and stick to them, such as: "I'll spend twenty minutes creating social media content and engage with the first three people who interact with it. I won't use it again until the following day." Then go get your scroll fix on one of the other platforms.

The nature of social media is addicting, so this will take some time and effort. Put reminders on your phone and calendar as needed.

3. Scrolling

Breaking the scrolling habit on FB or Twitter is going to be hard, but here's a trick: If you find yourself scrolling through one of the major platforms, stop and consider what you're actually looking for. Is it a news update? Go to Newsmax or OAN or The Epoch Times instead and reward them with your time and money.

Are you just wanting to check in on your friends? Pause and pick a person who you care about and send them a personal message inviting them to join you on MeWe or Parler and move the party there. Personally, what I enjoy most about Facebook is small groups of like-minded people and private, ongoing group messages with friends who live far away. Intentionally migrate those over to a platform that values privacy and free speech.

Figure out the reasons why you get on social media and then get those needs/wants met elsewhere.

4. Build community

Some people are concerned that making these switches will create an echo chamber on the alternative platforms, but I think that's worrying about something you can't control. Given the extreme nature of the media and Big Tech's biases and censorship measures, most people already only engage with news sources that they trust, so you might as well reward the platforms and companies that are prioritizing your values rather than the ones that don't.

We live in the Information Age, and, for now, curious people can find just about anything if they're willing to dig. So, don't put the burden of educating others on yourself. Instead, forge real connections with people who are concerned about the same things you are and create a space where you can nurture old and new friendships. Ultimately, that's what social media is supposed to be about.

Also, if you haven't heard of this app, check it out! It will help you determine which companies/brands support the same messages and causes you do.