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 Micro.blog, 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. ↺