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How I use the internet

A brief description of how I use the internet in 2022, two years after leaving all mainstream social networks.

Simone Silvestroni's avatar

This post is inspired by Michael Harley’s How I Internet, which was inspired by Cassey Lottman’s, My Internet.


I still prefer e-mail over any other form of communication.

A few years ago I’ve switched to Protonmail, after possibly using all the available systems out there — both free and paid. Even though I’m not entirely satisfied, it fits my current privacy needs.

After a few years with Proton, I switched to I now sync my calendars and address book with Android through the open source DAVx5.

My first e-mail client was Eudora.


RSS is still my primary mean to read online, as it has been for a long time. After having used desktop clients for decades, I’ve recently switched to Feedbin. The prompt was a need to consolidate several sources and cut the middle figures. Their business model seems honest enough and the UI/UX is satisfying.

I can read newsletters there, collected within a single tag, follow my YouTube subscriptions while avoiding the website altogether. This strips their algorithm out, along with the noise of comments and whatnot. If the urge to interact comes up, it’s easy to click the link and go to the website.

While I enjoy the web app on Android, I’ve been using the free and open-source NetNewsWire on macOS, which supports Feedbin accounts in the best and cleaner possible way.

Since I’m not following mainstream news, the categories in Feedbin reflects my main interests:

  • Personal blogs
  • Science
  • Music tech
  • Sound design
  • Video game industry
  • YouTube subscriptions
  • Newsletters


Besides following subscriptions through RSS and watching videos through a few Invidious instances, I tend to save important videos offline. I use yt-dlp for this.

Read later

After discovering the pages functionality in Feedbin, I ditched my Pocket account. NetNewsWire handles them well, making it easy to save articles from the Mac.

Update: I went back to Pocket in 2023.

Social interactions

I joined Mastodon in 2017, only to leave after a few months because I still was hooked on Twitter. In 2020, I deleted all my social media accounts and re-joined.

Outside the fediverse, I follow a couple of forums, namely Reaper and Airwiggles.

I started in the 1990s with BBSes and Usenet newsgroups. Still missing both.

Personal and work websites

Work on my websites is performed manually, after years on WordPress. Its minimalistic approach perfectly suits the need to cut down on bloat and (digital) noise. I use Jekyll with its Liquid template language, writing posts in Markdown and deploying to Netlify. I love the process and it doesn’t cost a dime.

I started blogging in March 2002.

Traditional media online

The only news outlet that I check somewhat regularly is Legible News. Like physical newspapers, they publish an update the day after. It’s slow, carefully sourced, and doesn’t track.

If, for whatever reason, the need to read mainstream news headlines arises, I sometimes use the text version of NPR. The number of times I find myself checking the site decreases exponentially over time. When I stopped checking The Guardian, I simply subscribed to a couple of their weekly or monthly newsletters, the ones about art, music and long-form reads.

Update: I switched to Longreads and The Conversation in 2023.

It might be 4 or 5 years since I stopped using Google as my search engine. I now use a mix of DuckDuckGo and Startpage. Sometimes, Marginalia is a good place where to find interesting and hidden things.


My daily rider is Firefox on both desktop and mobile. I use a Mozilla account to keep them in sync.


While I still prefer e-mail for communicating with people, I have an XMPP account connected to my email address. Am also using Signal, Telegram and — unfortunately — WhatsApp. The latter is forced onto me by the fact I’m about to move abroad again, and my home country is a slave to Meta.

I used IRC for a very long time. Don’t even know why I stopped, maybe the network effect. I still connect to the Indieweb channels every now and then.

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