Posting exclusively on Micro.Blog

As you might have seen on Twitter, I’m moving my social onto Micro.Blog as a test for a bit as I am feeling completely worn out by the attitude and way that free social platforms (and video sharing) sites work. Rewarding negativity and outrage isn’t a service I want to support so I’m slowly making moves to come off them.

I’m going to posting to my Micro.Blog exclusively now for a bit to see how I get on and if it sticks I might even move the blog over.

See you there.

Slack is slowly replacing Twitter for me

I’ve become more and more aware of the negative effects that social media and YouTube are having on my mental health lately and as you may have noticed I’m becoming less and less active on them. What has been good though is the introduction of Slack into my life. I’m in a few different slack rooms now, all of which contain most of the people I interact with on Twitter but with no manipulation by the companies that run them.

I’m finding that I’m much happier when I’m in Slack and in positive interactions than logging into Twitter and feeling bad after I’m done more than good. Don’t get me wrong, I do have good interactions on Twitter but they are outweighed by the way I feel after being on there.

I do have my own little slack room but I don’t want to add another place for people to check but if you’d be interested them let me know.

Putting a limit on social media

I’ve tried to take a step back from social media for a while and always struggle but I’ve found using the screen time feature in iOS has helped me limit the time I spend on them.

I’ve added a couple of limits to help me gradually reduce the time I spend on Twitter each day. I’ve set 20 minutes as a limit and will gradually reduce this slowly until it gets to 5.

I’ve been checking out the other apps via the ‘see all activity’ and tap on the app you want to add a limit to.

Anyone else using this?

Deleting social media apps off your phone

I’m only a day in with taking a break but in that day I’ve noticed I’ve created more and read more.

What I’m starting to realise is having social media apps on my iPad or only checking in a browser on the computer is a good compromise if you’re looking at reducing your consumption of it.

My only social media is Twitter and Reddit (yes, I know it’s not strictly a social media platform) so going cold turkey and removing the apps from my iPhone was a good first step.

I used my iPad and realised I had left them installed so I casually checked Reddit for ten minutes and put it down. What I’ve observed is having them on my iPhone created this habit loop of checking but if I restrict them to another secondary device like a Mac or iPad then it’s much easier to engage less frequently.

Now when I want to pick up my iPhone I find I’m in an RSS reader looking at someone’s blog or listening to music. Big wins.

If you’re looking at reducing the time spent on these platforms then I’d definitely give this method a go.

Swapping social media for creativity

I’ve noticed in the past (and rewriting this post as a reminder) that if I want to create more I need to swap my Twitter habit with a creation one. I’m finding that in downtime that I’m scrolling my feeds in Twitter or Reddit instead of doing something to benefit my mental health like playing my guitar or jotting down my thoughts here or hey even going out for a walk.

I’m going to be taking a break from Twitter especially over the next month to see if I improve my mood and frequency of output I’m happy with.

Join in with me and see what happens to your creative projects you’ve been looking to spend more time on.

Making a quieter Twitter

I’m really not using Twitter much these days, I tend to have a flurry of tweets then go quiet for a bit. After trying and deleting the official app after finding ads and trending unbearable I’ve settled on a way to use it that matches up with how I want to use it.

I’ve only really done two things.

  1. Significantly reduced the people I follow (sorry if you’re in this list) but I don’t want to see any politics so if I see a lot of RT that are going down this rabbit hole I unfollowed. I also unfollowed a few prominent Apple people mainly due to the fact all I’m seeing is nitpicks.
  2. Using Tweetbot. An easy swap for me, I don’t see many notifications of activity on my posts but that’s fine. I can easily mute topics etc and only see what I want. I also don’t see trends and ads, a win.

Social media isn’t that great for me being completely honest and this is definitely helping me.

Switching to the official Twitter app let me use Twitter less

I’ve been giving the official Twitter app a go based on the fact I can’t see likes etc via Tweetbot. I stay away from the whole trends etc and just use the timeline and notifications panes.

But a side effect that I wasn’t expecting was that by keeping the timeline in “top tweets first” I am using the service less. I’m no longer scrolling until I read everything but just checking top tweets a couple of times a day.

I switched to RSS for my news months ago so I’ve found that by using this method it’s let me step back from Twitter quite a bit.

I did use Safari for a while but to be honest the experience wasn’t great so I’ll leave the app in place and either set some limits or just remember to check in now and again.

If you’re looking to use social media less then I’d recommend trying out this method.

Taking control of the time you spend on Twitter

I’ve been trying to reduce the amount of time on Twitter and I’ve found the following steps have helped kick my habit of mindlessly loading and scrolling. It’s also a platform that like most social networks brings the worst to the top and as someone trying to be a bit more positive it’s having a negative effect on my wellbeing.

Remove the app

Now this depends on if you use the official app or not in some respect. I use Tweetbot so I don’t see ads or moments and the filtering tools are much more powerful. I literally cannot use the service if I’m forced to use the official app. I removed the app to a folder on the second page so I had to go looking for it. The next step I took was to remove the app completely and just check in via the Twitter site in Safari a couple of times a week. If you try this you’ll be amazed at how little you actually find yourself using it.

Cull your follows

If you want to continue using it as you are but want to see less then follow less people. What I did over time was anything I saw shared I didn’t like I stopped following that person. I went from over 700 to now around 100.

Embrace RSS

I found I was using Twitter to catch up on the latest news as it happened. What I discovered when I switched to reading news via an RSS app was I didn’t need to know everything. Checking into my RSS app a couple of times a day is enough and as a result I stopped following quite a few accounts. Unless it’s your job to report on the news it’s perfectly acceptable not knowing everything going on.

Screen time

I feel this is a last resort but use the screen time features in iOS to remind you to take a break. Limit yourself to 30 mins a day and see how that feels. This didn’t work for me but it’s an option built into iOS that is worth checking out.

Ease out of it

I wouldn’t recommend going cold turkey but it’s what I did a few weeks before Star Wars came out and it was pretty difficult to stop the habit outright. Some people respond well to this method but you should know yourself well enough to know if this is what you need personally. I’ve weaned myself off it slowly using the above and with only a few checks a week feel I’m on the right path (for me).

How I’ve felt with a week off Twitter and YouTube

This started as soon as Disney+ came out, see we don’t have it in the UK. I jokingly thought that with my love of Star Wars and the fact I don’t want The Mandalorian spoiled for me I’d see how long I could stay off various platforms.

First up I’ll address the worst offender- YouTube. It’s impossible to use this service without the algorithm showing you click bait and negative videos. Even if you stick to your subscriptions you’ll have recommendations thrown in your face. I decided this was a big risk and first off deleted it from all of my devices. I have to say that I don’t miss it at all. I use to go down rabbit holes that would either result in my feeling bad or looking at making a purchase (don’t mention mechanical watches to me at the moment …). Cutting myself off from YouTube really has improved my mood and I’m finding I have more time and focus back to my days. The time back is somewhat down to my lack of self control but the mood improvement is definitely down to not being presented with stupid click bait negativity.

Now onto Twitter. This was harder as I’d developed a habit of checking the slot machine, mindlessly checking my feed when I had a spare five minutes. Deleting the app and using Safari a few months ago has helped curb that little habit but I still checked on notifications. Turns out this habit change has made dropping the service completely a lot easier. I’m over a week now with no Twitter and whilst I do miss the interactions I’m feeling in a better place without it. Twitter has become the place you go to get something off your chest, somewhere to complain. I’m guilty of this too and not being on there I’m not contributing. Yes there is some positive but I’ve found the negative outweighs the positive, especially at the moment. I’ve also found I’m perfectly fine not knowing about stuff as it happens and I’ll check my RSS reader for my news a couple of times a day.

Quitting these services has been the best move for my mental health I’ve made technology wise for a while and I’m hoping I can stick to it for a while longer.

Being intentional with Social Media

Since removing Tweetbot from my iOS devices I’ve found my relationship with Twitter has changed. I’m now out of the loop of checking my feed multiple times a day to see what’s happening. I said I would be off social media but I’ve failed, but it has been a positive in my use of it. I’m now much more intentional about how I’m using it. I use Safari and only look at my notifications. I’m no longer aware of what’s happening in real time and because of this I’m ok with checking in maybe once or twice a day as opposed to the maybe 10 times before.

If like me you want to reduce your time on social media, delete your apps and restrict yourself to using your browser. Once you break the habit of using apps your usage of the platform will become more passive.