This is the story why I prefer to hang around on sites like Reddit, Hacker News, or Twitter than the other social media services. I need a bit more privacy . Those sites, as the time I write this post, is treating its user’s privacy better than other popular social media sites. Here’s why anonymous social media is better – at least for me.
I still remember the time when there are many smaller forums which more focused on smaller niche, but have a deeper focus on their own niche. Based on my experience, such forums never try to invade my privacy.
It won’t track the user’s precise location
Unlike many popular social media services and apps today, anonymous social media won’t try to track and follow the user’s precise location. It’s annoying to know that something is following you and it always know where you are now.
For example, when I visited a department store and there’s a fast food restaurant there, and I forgot to turn off the “Location service” on my phone, suddenly I receive a message about the discount from that fast food restaurant.
At that point, I decided to turn off the “Location service” on my phone unless I really need to use it. Not only that, I install some message blocker to block any promotional messages to my phone.
It won’t force users to give their real name
I don’t sign up for a credit card or a bank account. Why do I have to give my real name? Even worse, some social media will ask for my address. It just did not make sense to me.
I access social media to interact with others, to discuss something about the topic I care or just to read . I am not buying stuff which required them to send it to my address.
Just take a look on Reddit or Hacker News or other similar sites like Hubski. Most of the users use their own nickname. Even if some of them use their real name as the part of the nickname, it’s because they want to . Not because they have to.
It won’t ask your identity card screenshot
Ever been asked to upload your identity card, whether it’s your passport or an ID card issued by the government to verify your real name and photo? That’s an annoying attempt that invade someone’s privacy.
Social media account is not a bank account. When I was being asked to give such screenshots, I will prefer to leave the account locked, forever. If needed, I can just sign up for another account. But, I would keep myself away from such social media services.
No trace to your details.
They are not a law enforcer nor a government. Why some of those social media trace our details. They will trace what I like to eat, what are my hobbies, what are the places I love to visit, what are my best interest, etc.
The purpose is just one: to send us the offers that we will likely to accept and buy it. Such offers can be anything in any forms. They can be a promotional newsletter on your mailbox, promotional e-mail, SMS, brochure sent to your home, or even a cold call to propose you to buy their services.
It’s not mandatory to upload your real picture
A site like Hacker News even did not provide the way for users to use their picture at all. Some small forums usually will allow you to have an avatar but it’s not mandatory.
Yes, users can use their own real picture but it should be because they want to. Again, not because it’s mandatory to do so, to access the service.
No need for phone number
It won’t ask you to give your phone number for whatever reasons. Even if it’s just for verification purpose, or another classic reason: for security.
Anonymous social media usually did not intrigue you to install their app on your phone. In fact, most of them did not build such an app.
Personally, I only access them on the browser, on my laptop. I keep the phone for the most important ones to me: to keep updates with family members, e-mail for the jobs, and conversation group like Slack.
However, I always turn off all the notifications there unless if people are calling me. I set aside a period of time when I need to check my phone for something new.
On the other hand, the rest and major social media will keep prompting you to install the app on your phone. This way, you’ll keep connected to their service. They can send you a notification anytime they want. It’s hectic for you, really.
Anonymous social media are usually more focus than most of the social media. Just look at Hacker News where it focuses on the news from tech industries.
Unfortunately, there are not many social media that’s a focus on the other niches. Or maybe I just miss them.
Another example is the local automotive forum I followed since years ago. It’s focusing on automotive niches and talks locally. They’ll just remove any other topics that are not relating to their niche.
Or just take another look on Warrior Forum. It’s a forum that focused only on digital marketing. No more.
Personally, I prefer to hang around anonymous social media or on a small group of chat on Slack about some topics.
Such services won’t force me to reveal any details about myself. It makes me more comfortable to use the service. I believe some people will be like me too. They just don’t want to reveal their privacy to the world.