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New post: 2018 Retrospective

restyle-spring-2019
Annika Backstrom 6 months ago
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+Title: 2018 Retrospective
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+Slug: 2018-retrospective
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+Summary: As is tradition, I find myself thinking about the past
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+    year and future plans over the December holiday.
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+Date: 2018-12-30 16:58
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+Category: Personal
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+Tags: new year, irresolutions
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+
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+As is [tradition](/tag/irresolutions), I find myself thinking about the past
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+year and future plans over the December holiday.
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+
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+## Social Networking
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+
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+In 2018, I ditched all my big social accounts. I deleted my Twitter accounts in
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+August, Facebook in November, and this month deleted my little-used Instagram
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+account. (Instagram was acquired by Facebook in 2012.) I've been all-in on
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+[Mastodon](https://joinmastodon.org/) since 2017, creating my first account in
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+March before settling at [@annika@xoxo.zone](https://xoxo.zone/@annika) the
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+following month.
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+
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+The incentives for the big social networks are all wrong, and I think that sort
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+of centralization weakens the web. I would rather see a diverse ecosystem of
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+smaller interconnected servers, than these large ad-supported databases that
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+prey on our worst impulses. I plan to keep advocating for the Fediverse and
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+similar alternatives in 2019.
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+
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+## Shopping
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+
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+I severely cut back on my Amazon purchasing this year. I live in a rural area and
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+delivery services overall hold great appeal, but it's harder and harder to
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+justify supporting Amazon. It's easy to mindlessly purchase everything from
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+Amazon, but with a little effort, I'm finding that other shops are very
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+competitive on price and delivery time.
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+
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+Ideally, I could completely eliminate Amazon delivery in 2019. We still have
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+Kindle readers, but I'm looking into [Kobo](https://www.kobo.com/) as an
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+alternative. I'm a heavy [Twitch](https://twitch.tv) user (Amazon bought Twitch
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+in 2014) and I'm stuck with that for a long while, but I hope to stop Amazon
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+Prime next year and I don't *think* I would miss any Twitch benefits.
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+
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+## Mobile Phone
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+
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+This actually happened near the end of 2017, but I made the jump from Apple iOS
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+(iPhone) to Google Android (Samsung Galaxy Note8). Google's not *much* better
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+than Apple in a lot of regards, but at least the app store ecosystem is more
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+diverse.
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+
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+There are some open-source mobiles on the market, and I'll continue to watch
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+them in 2019.
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+
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+## Email
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+
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+Gmail (via Google Apps) hosted my email for years. Their dashboard says I created my account
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+in 2008, but I don't have records of when Gmail became my primary. I think I was
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+still using self-hosted qmail before that move.
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+
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+In 2018, I migrated from Gmail to
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+[Fastmail](https://www.fastmail.com/?STKI=19632000) (referral link). It's been a
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+very positive experience, I really have nothing but good things to say about
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+Fastmail.
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+
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+## Web Search
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+
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+Around the same time as the Fastmail move, I changed my primary search engine
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+back to [DuckDuckGo](https://duckduckgo.com). I tried to do this years ago, but
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+DDG just wasn't there yet. This time around, the change has stuck. I miss Google
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+about 5% of the time, and when I need it, Google (and hundreds of other
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+searches) are just a [bang](https://duckduckgo.com/bang) away.
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+
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+## Final Thoughts
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+
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+In 2019, I'll continue to look for alternatives that are better aligned with my
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+own values. For gaming, I'm hoping we'll see more DRM-free titles on Steam
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+alternatives like [Kartridge](https://www.kartridge.com/) and
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+[Itch.io](https://itch.io/). Music consumption also leaves room for improvement.
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+Maybe this means more consistent scrobbling from Spotify to
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+[Last.fm](https://www.last.fm/) and making sure I buy DRM-free or physical
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+copies of songs in heavy rotation.

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