Being part of smaller communities

Being part of a smaller community vs something like Twitter has really hit home over the last few months. Whilst I do get a lot of positive interaction on Twitter I also see news and negativity that the algorithms are created to amplify (I don’t want to see this).

I created my own slack (contact me if you want to join in) and am a member of several others and also some Discord and Reddit communities. These are smaller groups where I see the discussion no social media, pretty much exactly what I need right now.

I’m not sure where Twitter is headed but the more I use it the less I like the bits that they are trying to monetise. I’m also thinking would I pay for a subscription based or federated Twitter in the long term. As long as they are motivated by adverts then click bait and the extreme will win over. If you could pay for a non algorithmic Twitter, would you?

Take a breath before you post

Taking a breather before posting something to social media or my blog is something that I’m trying to do more of. I’m trying to be more positive on my outlook and this gives me a chance to ask myself if I really want to post this right now.

This is one of the reasons you maybe notice I’m quieter on Twitter these days but I’m just trying to step back a little so it’s almost read only and a messaging platform to me these days.

My thoughts go on my blog, somewhere that’s mine.

As an aside I’ve become very conscious of the hubris in some top Apple podcasts and dropping almost all Apple or tech focussed ones has helped, I’ll write more on this soon.

I digress, what I’m trying to share is before you post read it back and think about if it’s really what you want to say or are you being driven by an emotion, like I am sometimes. I’ve ranted a lot less lately I like to think and whilst there’s nothing wrong with having a moan sometimes it’s not the default I want.

Twitter Muscle Memory

Great post by Greg about muscle memory and firing up the Twitter app as a habit, something I have struggled with (and continue to do so). I made the mistake of installing Tweetbot again when setting a device recently and fund myself falling back into the habit of it being one of the first things I fire up when I unlock my iPhone.

I’ve created a tab in Safari on the desktop with the Twitter site and am aiming to delete the Tweetbot app again (app limits don’t work for me!) and see how it goes.

I found that when I stopped having it on my phone I wrote more content for the blog to share my thoughts rather than create a Twitter post about it. In the end my stats went up massively when I stopped posting to social media.

Out of sight, out of mind

On playing around with my iPhone setup lately I’ve noticed that for those apps you want to use less and don’t want to delete, simply moving them off your main Home Screen or into the App Library might be enough for you to use them less.

I’ve found that not seeing them as soon as I unlock my device has helped me stop using them completely.

Before deleting social media apps I moved them and my usage went right down. I’d moved the habit of unlocking and loading them. After a week I just deleted the apps and don’t miss them.

Give it a try for your social media apps, move them away from where you can see them.

Being more intentional, keeping distractions off your smartphone

One thing I’ve realised in looking at my screen time since I lost my day job was that it’s gone very much in the wrong direction. I’m spending too much time in social media apps like Twitter and Reddit and less time on creating new things.

I’ve decided to make my iPhone use a lot more intentional. Less distractions and finding a new place for a certain activities. What I mean here is that as a first step I’m removing all of the social and podcasting apps off my iPhone.

Social apps are useful for me but I can catch up on my MacBook. I want to stop the habit of scrolling the news feed.

With podcasts I listen to them more out of habit than enjoyment. I don’t commute or travel to client sites so I find instead of relaxing with music I throw on whatever technology based podcast is my queue and end up not even listening to it really. I’m either not interested or just get bored these days.

I’m hoping these little changes help me focus a bit more on what’s important to me, something I’m still figuring out.

Do you miss out on Twitter if you use Tweetbot?

I’ve been switching Twitter apps and figuring out if I actually miss anything about Twitter when I use the Tweetbot app. Well, maybe.

I don’t miss the app itself. The official app feels like a spam app to me, I hate it. It feels like it’s constantly throwing me an ad or news I don’t want to see. Using Tweetbot elongated all of this and I just get a timeline in order that I want to see.

What I do miss is interacting with others.

Tweetbot has started to lose some conversations and @ replies. I keep the official app on my iPad so I can check in every few days to make sure I’m replying to everyone.

Taking breaks from social media and the news

I think especially in these times taking breaks from social media and especially the mainstream news has been beneficial for my mental health. I find when I get dragged back into a link from social that leads me to main news my mood gets worse, so I’m back on a break.

Going cold turkey and deleting Tweetbot is the place to start, then just not checking the main news sites is next.

If I go quiet on Twitter I’m not ignoring anyone I’m just taking a little holiday from it.

It’s ok to mute or unfollow people on Twitter to help your mental health

In these times there’s a lot of negativity or content you just don’t want to see or be reminded of. This is just a little reminder that’s it’s fine to mute or unfollow people for posting stuff you don’t want to see. I cannot use the official app as it’s mute options are fiddly so I use Tweetbot. Using Tweetbot lets you quickly mute people for certain periods or unfollow, this makes it easy for me to control what I see to help my mental health.

I’m not in a particularly great place at the moment and I’ve been pretty heavy handed with muting. I’ll tend to mute for a period of a week when I see something I don’t want. I can also mute certain keywords or hashtags really easily too.

If you want to mute or unfollow me too that’s fine, if I bring you down then please do it. Think of your own wellbeing and do what’s right for you, only you know this.

The official Twitter app is bad for my mental health

Here we go again…

I’ve been using the official app but I’m done with it again, it’s not helping out my mental health right now. I’m sorry to those of you where I’m going to miss your conversation or that DM but I’m going to be taking a break from the official app.

  • I’m getting an ad every two tweets
  • I get sucked into the news, not a great thing in 2020
  • Muting people and keyboards doesn’t seem to be that effective

I’ll still be logging into the site every week to help with my job searching (just in case I miss a notification) and check in on polls but for now I’ll be back to Tweetbot, where I control what I see and how I see it.

So please again accept my apologies in advance if I miss a thread due to Tweetbot not seeing it.

Move your social media apps to your second page

I’ve been sharing a few home screens lately to be honest they are already out of date, why? Well I don’t think it’s a good idea to have your social media apps on your main Home Screen page. Since moving them to the second page (or App Library if you’re on the iOS 14 beta) I’ve reduced my habit of checking in with them so often. Now I’m not here to tell you how much you should be using social media but why not give this a try and check your usage in a couple of weeks, do you feel better for it?