Chris Hannah


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 dropping.

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, Mastodon, and Threads that I’ve tried as alternatives to Twitter.

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.

Written: On a train from London to Kings Lynn.

  1. Well, some aren’t exactly new. But to a lot of people they are. ↩︎

  2. That’s definitely on me. But I’m not particularly interested in spending much time on it. ↩︎

Solo Train Journeys #

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 more relaxed.

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 Voice at Embankment Tube Station #

John Bull (@garius) posted a great story on Twitter, about one of the announcements at Embankment tube station, and a voice that suddenly went unheard.

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.