A Little Gushing about Matrix
Communication: something so simple yet so complicated. Something which is so universal yet so varied, the way in which we communicate especially. Take, for instance, the college student: their parents have the family group chat on Facebook messenger (because of course they do), they have slack for some class, Groupme for another, Discord for their friends or some club, and we cannot forget good ole fashioned sms text messages. And that is just the list of apps which I have to deal with on a daily basis — and I’m a rather unsocial person! However, through 1 amazing platform I have been able to condense nearly all of my communications into 1 ecosystem: matrix.
A Little Background
If you have found this article, then you probably already have heard at least a little bit about matrix. For starters, it is an open platform — like email, there isn’t 1 single entity who controls it, and you can run your own server to use it. As cool as that is, however, there is one shinning feature of matrix: interoperability. In essence, one of the core fundamentals about the matrix specification is that it should be able to talk to other services. A communication platform is completely useless if you don’t have anyone to talk to, isn’t it? To illustrate what I mean, allow me a digression into how I finally got Facebook off of my phone:
How I got Facebook off my Phone, for Good
It should come as no surprise that I have many complaints to lodge against Facebok (and most tech companies, for that matter), but I had been keen for months to finally get Facebook off of my phone. I had one hurtle though: while I could uninstall the app itself, I still needed messenger, meaning that no matter what, I still had Facebook software phoning home on my phone. I needed messenger because that is (unfortunately) my family’s primary method of communication; it simply offers a better quality experience than normal sms. Then I learned about matrix, and specifically, this Facebook messenger bridge. What this allows me to do is have the bridge itself, which is just a little bot-type program you can run on your homeserver (or somewhere else, for that matter, it doesn’t really matter) and it talks to Facebook while I, though my matrix client of choice, talk to it. When I figured this out, I was ecstatic, and still am. My phone has been Facebook-free for months now, and it is all thanks to the amazing work which has gone into matrix and the bridges which make transitioning to matrix feasible.
This was just a taste of my excitement and appreciation for matrix; expect more int the future. I have a plan to make some tutorials and guides over the summer! I am also hoping to start a new series with these appreciation posts.