The More Social Networks There Are the Less I Want to Use Them #
There’s been an influx of new1 social networks recently, such as Threads,
Mastodon, and Bluesky. And to some extent, I’ve tried to keep up with them. But
if anything, I’ve noticed that my use of social media, in general, has been
I used to use Twitter for talking about everything, and Instagram for posting
my photography. But then Glass came along and for a while my serious
photography was going there, and then BeReal made me want to save a photo for
them every day. As for text content, there’s been Micro.blog,
Mastodon, and Threads that I’ve tried as alternatives to
However, all I tend to use now is just Instagram, Twitter/X, and Mastodon.
Instagram is where my friends and family tend to be, and that’s where I post
photos of what I’m up to, and also any real photography. Mastodon is where
I’ve found a lot of tech bloggers and developers have flocked to, so I’m there
for that crowd. And I still haven’t given up on Twitter/X, because I’ve found
it to still be the best place for current events, football content, and
a bunch of tech people are still there.
And when I say, I use these three platforms, that’s not the same level as
before. I used to try and read every tweet in my timeline, both on Twitter
and Mastodon, and I’d spend countless hours scrolling through Instagram.
Now, I’ve got notifications turned off for everything, and I’d say I browse
Twitter/X slightly regularly. But I only really go on Instagram and Mastodon
now when I want to post something. I haven’t found them to be good places to
browse. I get too sucked in when using Instagram, and I haven’t yet cultivated
a good enough following list for me to spend a lot of time in Mastodon2.
I’ve found that right now, I’m more interested in people in the real world than
on the internet. That’s not a dig at anyone I’ve talked to online. But it
doesn’t replace talking to people in the physical world.
I think the reason why I’m preferring to write for my blog over social media,
is that it’s a more biased relationship. It allows me to collect my thoughts, and
then express them in whatever form I feel fits the content and context. And
then if people want to reply in any way, they can do so via email, Mastodon, X,
etc. But, at a slower pace, and also in any which way they feel relevant.
The real-time speed and perceived urgency of social media are reasons why I’ve
stepped back from it a bit. So, if you’ve sent me a message online or by email,
know that I’m probably not ignoring you. I either haven’t got around to
reading it yet, or I haven’t yet found time to think and reply.
People tend to think that I’m a bit weird, because I’m quite fond of a long
train journey. Especially when I’m travelling alone. I find it a much more
enjoyable experience than any other form of travel.
When I think about why this might be the case, the word that immediately comes
to mind is “slow”. But that’s not quite the exact reason. I think it’s because
the experience of a long train journey is that it feels slow. Not as in it
feels like it’s taking too long, instead, it feels slow because the journey is
This may be just me. But when I get on a train, whether I’m trying to get
somewhere urgently like a morning commute or a long journey where there isn’t
really any rush, it’s like I’ve given myself an allocated amount of time to do
whatever I want.
Let’s say you’re on a 3-hour train ride. You know that you can’t influence the
duration, and avoiding any possible delays, you also know the time of your
arrival. Which means, for a period of time, you’re free.
You’re free to spend your time reading, watching a movie, listening to music,
or even just some time to yourself to sit and think while you look out the
window. Better yet, you could do a collection of things.
I tend to use that time to relax, listen to some music, catch up on social
media, maybe watch a video or read something, and probably a good chunk of it
is spent looking out of the window, while my mind wanders.
I may be alone in this, but a journey in a car or plane is always second best
to a train in my opinion. Especially when compared to being on a plane. The
whole ordeal of rushing to an airport, going through security, finding your
gate, and all of the waiting in between, really bugs me.
A lot of people like to comment on how “chilled out” I am. Like it’s just
a part of my personality. But I think it’s more something that I’ve learned to
cultivate. Maybe I’m calmer than the average person, but I think it’s
decisions like taking the slow option, not rushing myself, or inviting any
unneeded stress that makes the difference.
Written: On a train journey from Kings Lynn to London.
The woman, a GP called Dr Margaret McCollum, explained that her husband was an actor called Oswald Laurence. Oswald had never become famous, but he HAD been the chap who had recorded all the Northern Line announcements back in the seventies.
The staff at Embankment were apologetic, but the whole Underground had this new digital system, it just had to be done. They promised, though, that if the old recordings existed, they’d try and find a copy for her.
Margaret knew this was unlikely, but thanked them anyway.
Archives were searched, old tapes found and restored. More people had worked to digitize them. Others had waded through the code of the announcement system to alter it while still more had sorted out the paperwork and got exemptions.
And that is why today, even in 2019, if you go down to Embankment station in London, and sit on the northbound platform on Northern Line, you will here a COMPLETELY different voice say Mind the Gap to ANYWHERE else on the Underground.
When I started to read this story, I was thinking that maybe the archived recording would be found and then a copy sent to Dr McCollum. I never expected the voice to be digitised, restored, and then put back in use.
The fact that it’s only used in the Embankment tube station on the Northern Line makes it even better. It’s amazing that people went the extra mile and put in the work to make it happen.