Many people who want to make a career somehow by heavily connecting to Social Media are welcome to knock themselves out. In order to attract the largest audience possible, it’s normal to maintain an online presence on sites like Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Instagram, etc. This is in addition to an email mailing list, and blog. This is called a “Max” strategy: you can’t be too connected. Then they get verbally abused from afar by extremists who relish any minuscule opportunity to forward their agendas in any social forum where they can get away with it.
As a Buddhist monk, I (fortunately) get consistently fed whether I have a small, or large audience listening to me. So I can afford to be more choosy about the audience I’d like to attract. I would prefer an audience who shows at least the basic levels of respect to Buddhism, and Buddhist monastics, which the Buddha sets as a minimum standard. I would prefer an audience who is a little more tech savvy, and has taste as they make their choices about which tech actually serves them, and not the other way around.
I would prefer to have a simpler online presence, sticking to plain-Jane low-key platforms, like:
- a blog (with no Ads, and everything is “permalinkable”, with sane, readable URLs),
- …which has an (encumbrance-free) RSS feed
- a couple of privacy-friendly chat apps, where a monthly newsletter is posted (with links to photos, etc), such as Signal.
This is very decidedly not a “Max” strategy. It’s not my job to entertain you, my job is to attain Nibbāna. My website will never attract mass followings, but what use do I have of a mass following? I earn the same $0, either with a mass following, or a tiny following. I’ll take the way where there is the least amount of struggle against mentally-unhinged people, taking pot-shots as they see fit, as well as monstrous, super-rich corporate entities, over whom I have no control as they decide to hijack attention towards themselves in various ways. I’m not interested in playing these games.
So of course I’ll choose technologies where I stay out of easy arms-reach of verbally abusive extremists, as well as dodge all the sleazy Ad-men who would frame (and take advantage of, for free) my honest content with all sorts of psychologically insidious, AI-optimized click bait. I’m leaving enough of an easy opportunity to follow my content, to those who are skilled, and motivated enough to add an RSS feed, or install an App like Signal. I’m not asking for a pint of blood here.
The absolute boredom of this website’s looks, and the absence of fun bells and whistles (which are often actually devilish, disguised mechanisms of surveillance, and “telemetry-gathering”), are intentional on this site. That’s a feature, not a bug. Less is more.
If you get me, great, I’d like to have you as an interested Buddhist friend. If you don’t get me, well, that’s cool. There’s plenty of other monks and monasteries who are playing the “Max” strategy, whom you might better enjoy following, taking the path of absolutely least resistance.