I have some friends that are just too lazy to download Signal. I've asked very politely and explained why it's important to me. I haven't pestered them, but I haven't stopped asking. Who knew downloading one app was such an ask! Lol. Any tips?
Just stop responding to any messages. Or respond a day late. Explain you would have responded faster if using signal.
Also pester them for making you write your conversations on post cards (if using SMS) or for CC-ing google/apple/facebook on all your conversations (if using non-E2E encrypted messengers).
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Michael Bazzell recommends the 24 hour delay too.
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Its harsh. But not everyone feels enough pain just having weak privacy. You have to make them feel pain some other way before they'll embrace change.
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It's disheartening really, I've known these people for over a decade and they can't respect me enough to download an app. They don't understand how much we're being surveilled. And they're still in the nomie mind virus of nihlism and "I have nothing to hide"
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Right there with you, it can feel terrible when you present something so easy to do and important to you ( signal is a very good app in absolute terms ) and they brush it off. Stay strong friend.
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To be honest, at some point you just have to do the switch if you care enough about your privacy by deleting the messengers you don't want to use.
I was there too. No amount of convincing is going to change their mind. They have to make the decision which messenger to use themselves just like you do.
You may look like an asshole by moving away from the "common ground" but imo that's worth it. They don't realize that they are the ones being disrespectful by valuing being lazy over your feelings of privacy.
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I embracing the path: "Sorry for the delay, I don't use this messaging app anymore because it has a lot of privacy/security issue, so I check it for new messages randomly. Feel free to contact me here <link> if you want a solid and trusty connection."
Slightly OT, why Signal? If I'm not wrong it still asks to give out your phone number, and this doesn't seem a great start for a privacy focused platform. Did you tried SimpleX Chat?
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Signal like Telegram, is a honey pot.
Anything that needs your phone number or contacts is a joke on you.
Use simpleX
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I think the principle of persuasion is similar to different variants of orange pilling.
Signal isn't a bad option, but I would choose a messenger that doesn't require a phone number to register. Even if you use a temporary number not associated with your identity - it's still not as convenient.
From the alternatives I would consider Session and SimpleX
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Lol. I don't use signal. Nor do I want to or see a need.
Or Telegram.
Or Discord.
Etc. "Hey can I add you to the Telegram chat?" No. Immediately no.
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Thanks
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No. This thread was about how to convince people you know to use Signal.
And although I like a lot about signal, no thanks. Step 1 is "Hey what's your phone number?"
So, Darren from Martketing or Tom from my soccer team. No. I won't download XYZ app that is hardly different than ABC app in privacy or security to talk about the plans for the bake sale on Tuesday.
Do your homework.
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Well from my homework so far I've come to the conclusion that signal is more secure and private than sms/standard voice calls. SMS is transmitted plain text, can be snooped on by hackers, saved by the telecom companies or intercepted and saved by governments. Although I think sometimes they just collect metadata, not the texts themselves, but I don't know. Same goes with voice calls. Signal is E2E encrypted, so all those worries are negated as long as the encryption isn't back doored. That's why I'd prefer to use signal. Please let me know if there's any errors in my analysis.
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DON'T DO THIS - Signal is not as private and secure as you think
  • It leaks metadata
  • It requires a GPS tracker (a phone number)
  • You cannot run on your own servers
  • It has unavoidable google services (eg captcha)
  • The builds are not reproducable
  • It contains binary blobs (not completely open source)
You'd be better off taking the time to get them onto a properly secure and private messenger, such as:
  • Simplex Chat
  • Session
  • Briar
In any case, the solution here is simple. Just delete all those spyware apps (Signal, Telegram, Whatsapp, Viber) and communicate ONLY on secure apps like the ones above. Or email.
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I stopped trying anymore, but using different apps to communicate with different people, and different numbers for each app. However, I am relying less on communicating over the phone now, making it minimal - I prefer meeting in person to talk about important things.
All these instant messages, private or not, are not good for our brains if you think about it.
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Truth. All my friends live in a different town, so face-to-face is hard (im too ugly for zoom).
I can highly recommend this though: Send voice messages instead of text, in sms. The wealth of contextual information in hearing words, and not just reading them, it makes texting fun again.
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All my friends live in a different town, so face-to-face is hard (im too ugly for zoom).
most of mine is living in other places too, so we arrange to meet in person sometimes, which makes it even better when we meet after few months, long and deep talks.!
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Why do you want them to switch to Signal? (I agree they should, but humor me)
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Because privacy is a fundamental human right and when I talk to someone I want to be talking to just them. With no record of our conversation saved in a database for decades.
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I relate greatly to this, specifically the point that regular texts get written in stone forever. This means you can never speak freely, you must always constrain communication.
The beauty of speech is that it is ephemeral. It's okay to say stuff, ok to be a bit stupid, ok to be honest, ok to be vulnerable even. Your desire to have ephemeral messages in Signal is very wise, and only shows that you want to communicate more deeply with your family.
Of course the encryption is a bonus. I doubt your family see the value in that side though.
As a sidenote, the ephemeral communication idea, "forgetfulness by design leads to courage in sharing weird ideas, freedom to make errors", I believe is the cure for todays toxic "doubling-down" internet culture. No body remembers how to be wrong, and communities (cough reddit cough) stagnate.
I've stopped texting my friends words actually, I send them voice messages instead. It's amazing! But sorry for ranting. Hopefully I've given you some ideas of how to explain Signal to your family :)
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Have a kid and tell everyone you'll only share pics of the baby via Signal. I've onboarded and actively communicate with 15+ people exclusively on Signal after using this..."technique".
Cons: takes time, effort, resources, upends your life. So it's kind of an overkill for Signal adoption reasons only.
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My family recently "switched" to Signal meaning we have now both Signal and Whatsapp groups
But I have to say that I had the advantage of my family knowing the difference between a company and a foundation
If you can't even convince them of a messaging app more elaborate good software will be hard
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My solution, but see if it is appropriate for you, was to drop all friends I was in contact with through Facebook (or any other application you are currently using to contact them). The good side is you will get more time for productive things. Funny fact, I think 3 years later I messaged a friend who finally took the time to install a new application because he wanted to pick up a woman who used it. Bottom line, the carrot to make friends install Signal can be sex with a woman. My best friends did install Signal though.
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I forgot: for the family just drop all applications and one day they will install Signal. And use emails in the meantime until they get annoyed.
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I would not recommend a chat app that needs your phone number. I would recommend Simplex or Threema over Signal.
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What worked for me was telling them that I was concerned enough about the privacy of our personal conversations that I only wanted to talk with them over Signal and that if they contacted me in another way it was much less certain that I would get back to them. It did the trick :)
Also, due to network effect, this helped some of them start using Signal to talk to each other and not just me.
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Good IM list
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can you explain why it is important for you here? because signal may not be what you think it is.
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SMS is transmitted plain text, can be snooped on by hackers, saved by the telecom companies or intercepted and saved by governments. Although I think sometimes they just collect metadata, not the texts themselves, but I don't know. Same goes with voice calls. Signal is E2E encrypted, so all those worries are negated as long as the encryption isn't back doored. So id prefer to use signal. I'm not aiming for complete anonymity, just peace of mind that I can reasonably assume my digital communications with family and friends are with just them. And no digital record of those communications will be saved on someone's servers for eternity.
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ok if it is for some privacy, same with whatsup or other apps, they are also encrypted. but you always have to trust the apps and servers. People are lazy to change to another application because they all have the same features more or less and will keep using the one where all their contacts use.
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Yeah they just use iMessage and I switched to graphene
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Sometimes is just as hard as trying to convince people that Bitcoin is the best Money, or that Nostr is better than Twitter , or even to tell them to start using Stacker News for the real deal lol Most of the people don't understand the value of all that data they give up using WhatsApp or Messenger, or other controlled apps
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I'm waiting until something like SimpleX is better. I don't want to switch family to Signal only to switch again to something else. I have a bad taste in my mouth with Signal due to their scamcoin they used and also the need for a phone number.
Switching family to a new app is something I've learned you only get to do once or twice in your life so it better be good. :)
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pay them-- always works
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