NotSocial: A Social Media Revolution

Thu, 27 Aug 2020

We can all agree that social media is a lot to handle sometimes. I know I have a habit of scrolling on Reddit for far too long before I realize just how long it's been, and it isn't isolated to just Reddit. Twitter, Instagram, and the like are all in this bucket.

Since deleting myself from Facebook, I've realized a few things about myself and others, but that's not what this post is about. This post is about NotSocial.

NotSocial is my new passion; it's more than an app - it's an ideology. You may be thinking that this is exactly the problem that other social media platforms have: they become more than just an app and grow into a cultural phenomenon, and I'm not here to tell you whether or not you're right or wrong.

But I am here to tell you how NotSocial is a new kind of social media platform where it is only you that exists in its world. It's a section of the internet for you - and only you - to be social with yourself while feeling connected with the rest of the world.

  • Enjoy the thrill of Twitter while also being able to just wipe it off the face of your device screen.
  • Comment, like, and even dislike posts from your favorite news outlets, celebrities, and crazy relatives (bonus points if you reach the high score).
  • See your direct messages, potentially play games (no promises), and look at dog pictures.

When you're all done, just close your account without hassle, free of charge. I make it super easy to rid yourself of NotSocial because it should never be an inconvenience to delete yourself from an internet service.

Give Me The Technical Details

NotSocial started out as a simple idea on CodePen practicing Vue. It was originally called Pang because Merriam-Webster defines pang as "a sharp attack of mental anguish," which is basically all social media is anyway.

You can even view the original NotSocial there still. Be warned though, it's a little rough around the edges in terms of how Vue works and just overall design.

I thought I was done after publishing that, but I knew it could be better. Not only could it be better looking and more thought out, but I could broaden my skills and make it with Nuxt, a static site generator for Vue. I knew it wouldn't be a walk in the park but I didn't expect it to be as challenging as it was either.

You can take a look at my commit history if you want to...it's a little embarrassing sometimes, but funny to look back on. Just read such fun commits as "I've basically reset everything in order to try and make this happen" or "Wow, you gotta wrap everything in a div or whatever to make it work."

Long story short, it took me a few months to get this thing right. I had to read a lot of Nuxt documentation to really, truly, understand what the heck I was doing, and it was worth it because NotSocial 2.0 is beautiful (to me, at least right now).

I learned a lot using Nuxt and Vue to make this faux-app. Both tools are incredibly useful for something like this, which I why I chose them instead of something like Hugo or Eleventy, two SSGs I use for separate projects.

After all this time though, it is still just a fun side project. If I were to open up that folder in Atom right now, I would probably be overtaken with dread by the thought of having to update npm or something a popular topic right now. So, don't ask me to make any updates please.

Lessons Learned

  • Always read the documentation.
  • Patience is a virtue.
  • Maybe don't rely on npm for everything if you want to work on a thing long term.