Medium forces people into self-described boxes, and attempts to close the lids.
I stumbled into Medium after I heard it described by a newsmaker as a place for long, thoughtful essays. I thought, “Great! A place where thoughtful people have room to address complex issues. A place where creativity can bloom. I’ll love it!”
But, I didn’t, and after trying it for awhile, I eventually quit visiting and stopped most of my feeds.
I may misunderstand Medium. I certainly don’t know everything there is to know about it, but I don’t like it, for the same reasons I don’t like Facebook or any of the other social media platforms I’ve tried, they try to efficiently force-feed me what they think I want instead of allowing me to inefficiently find what I really want.
Facebook might think it knows me, but it only knows what its algorithms think they know about the details of my life I think wise to share with them. They don’t know enough of me to construct reading lists for me, or even to construct a list of my interests, and they never will.
How can Facebook or Medium know what I want to read, or what interests me if I don’t know? And how can I know to what I want to restrict my reading unless I’ve stopped growing as a person? Even I cannot know what I want to read unless I’ve boxed myself inside a description of yesterday’s me.
I hate the entire idea of Facebook and Medium choosing things they think I want to read. They are, perhaps quite innocently, trying to do that against which we all should rebel, putting us all into the self-described boxes of what we were yesterday, limiting what we will be tomorrow.
Please, give me a menu tree full of topics and authors and styles, and let me follow my inefficient flights of fancy and click on things that might bore me, things I might not like, things I might hate, but which might help me grow into someone bigger and better than yesterday’s me. Please, allow me to discover writers I want to read. Don’t force-feed me writers you want me to read.
Algorithms or editors force-feeding us that which they think interests us or that in which they think we should be interested has made it possible for half the country to examine the same facts and events and emerge with an understanding that is diametrically opposed to the understanding reached by the other half of the country, because each half reads only what its self-appointed editors and algorithms give it to read.
I quit contributing to and reading Medium because Medium’s editors made it too hard to find things I wanted, and instead forced upon me the things they wanted.
I don’t give a damn if the things I read aren’t popular. I don’t read to fit into the “Reads Popular Stuff” box. I read to avoid being boxed in at all, to transcend boxes altogether. I read to be me, not what an algorithm or editor thinks I am or should be.
Medium makes that too difficult. Medium tries at every turn, to push me back into the box from which I’m trying to escape — the box of what I used to be, the yesterday that prevents me from becoming what I might be tomorrow.