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My memory is a bit hazy on this. After listening to Snowden’s “Permanent Record” audiobook , my interest in encryption and online privacy grew. I became much more aware about how unhealthy it is to have a society that relies on large centralized platforms to broker people’s social interactions.
At some point along the process of looking into solutions to the centralization problem I remember running into Dessalines’ essay on “Favorite apps and services”. I think I found it via a google search for decentralized social media alternatives or de-googling, or on a post on Reddit alternatives, I don’t remember the details. In this list lemmy is listed as a reddit alternative, and I was shopping for one 😄
I am glad I found lemmy as it encouraged me to learn about self-hosting, and that has snowballed in a positive way.