Uncle Warren Tells You How To Survive 2017

warren_ellis_by_gage_skidmore
Photo by Gage Skidmore.

Comic book author Warren Ellis wrote in his newsletter this weekend some sage advice for conducting yourself on social media in 2017, which I am going to ignore utterly. But that's because I'm a moron. Your mileage may differ considerably.

He writes,

If you're on social media, make your account private, and use it to be social. Use it with your friends.

If you rely on social media for news, do this. 1) Don't use Facebook for news. I mean, just don't. Facebook's values are not your own, and they have their own rules for what you get to see. So just don't. 2) Twitter has a function called Lists. So go to a Twitter account, press the little cog icon on the right, and select Add Or Remove From Lists. Create a list, and you can add people to it without actually following them.

The term "attention economy" seems to be making a comeback in 2017. Your attention is valuable. Also, the confusing and scattering of your attention is valuable. Overwhelming you into making bad or unfocused choices is valuable. Take back your attention.

And for god's sake, stick a passcode on your phone this week. Six is okay, I'm told eleven is better. And turn off Touch ID before you go through an airport – that's a thing I keep hearing.

(Addition to last week's notes: favcleaner will wipe out your entire Twitter likes history, slowly. It will post to your account once – just delete the tweet.)

Find your news. I read The Guardian, BBC News and Foreign Policy every morning, as well as Politico and Axios daily newsletters, and I recently bought access to The Washington Post and put Reuters on my home screen.

Find your people. Do it offline. If you're worried, turn your phone off before you leave the house to go to a meeting, and don't turn it back on until you're well away from the meeting place. Or leave it at home entirely, and carry a burner with a removeable battery.

Change your goddamn passwords and don't buy any of that IoT shit.

Also, this.

"Trump administration officials are discussing the possibility of asking foreign visitors to disclose all websites and social media sites they visit, and to share the contacts in their cell phones. If the foreign visitor declines to share such information, he or she could be denied entry"

This isn't unexpected, and the ground has already been laid for it, in the updated ESTA and in the questioning of journalists at customs in the US over their LinkedIn accounts last year.

Sorry to be such a huge downer, but these are times for protection.

Come and sit by me. I have whisky, and I like fires.

Always a stable combination…. you can sign up to his newsletter, here.

About Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.

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