Ways I’m cutting back on social media

Social Media

I’ve fallen back into having social apps like Twitter and Reddit back on my iOS devices and it’s been a real time waster. I’ve looked at having screen time turned on but it does nothing for me when I can just ignore limits. I wanted to end the mindless habit of opening the app and scrolling.

So to reduce this and get some energy back to create stuff and be more present I’ve taken the apps of all of my iOS devices.

I’ve given up on Reddit and YouTube completely (I can’t take anymore “I wasted £1000 at store X”, evil pranks or facepalm thumbnails that provoke platform wars) and with Twitter I’ve bookmarked in iOS Safari and aim to only check it for notifications maybe a few times a week.

I’m not really worried about missing out on stuff, for me it’s one more thing to think about when I’m not getting the same value out of the service I did say 4 years ago. It’s become somewhere I only check now out of habit, I don’t go anywhere near reading threads these days as they are mostly toxic – especially if like me you love Star Wars. Just checking it during the Pixel 4 keynote (which I enjoyed BTW) I saw certain pundits feeling the need to negatively comment on pretty much every announcement, I don’t need this (yes he is now unfollowed).

Thankfully I deleted my Facebook and Instagram accounts years ago.

Any tips for cutting back on social media you can share?

Negative Tech Twitter

Social Media, Tech

It struck me yesterday during the Microsoft keynote how negative and nit picky my follows are on Twitter and how I need to balance them out a bit more. As you’d imagine I follow a lot of Apple pundits who either criticise everything or don’t appear to appreciate the very audience that is paying their bills. It’s been bugging me especially through the somewhat ropey iOS 13 launch, yes I’m a little guilty on this front.

I’m trying to be more positive and see the glass a bit more half full and being back on Twitter is really having a negative effect on my ability to do this.

I’m not sure if it’s best to remove myself from Twitter for a bit or do another mass unfollow.

As a start I’m removing the apps on my iOS devices and I’ll only check in for notifications on my Mac or via Safari on the iPad maybe weekly for a month to see if this helps.

Any advice?

Learning how to use Twitter again (for me)

Social Media, Tech

So as you know I’ve been off Twitter since the end of August and now I’m 3 weeks in I’ve come to terms with how I’ve been using it and how to use it going forward.

I’ve logged back in to check iPhone 11 news for a story and realised that how I’m using it now compared to before changed. I’m no longer feeling like I need to pull to refresh every five minutes but instead I fire up the official app (ordered by top tweets). I scroll a little, maybe reply to a few and check my notifications to see if I’ve had any comments on my writing. I’m maybe doing this a couple of times a day.

I’ve switched from getting my news there to using RSS (I’m using Reeder 4) and found that I’m ok not knowing news when it’s happening but on my schedule.

I’m also glad to be part of a few slack communities that help me communicate with the fellow creatives that I have met via Twitter.

I think I’ve finally come to terms with how I’m using social media.

Twitter break: update

Social Media, Tech

I’m coming up to two weeks after taking a break from Twitter and wanted to give you an update. For the first few days I found myself reaching for my phone to mindlessly scroll my feed but now I’m past that I’m doing fine. I’m finding my mind less busy with too much input and I’m pretty much seeing only the news and info that I want. I’ve replaced my interactions with Slack and anything else is via iMessage.

I’m looking at how I keep up to date with news by going all in with RSS again.

I’m going to check Twitter in Safari maybe a couple of times a week to check DM and @ replies but I think I’m done with having the app on my devices and being caught up in the mindless scrolling that I got into before.

Quitting social media for 30 days

Social Media, Tech

I’ve done these kinds of little experiments before but never stuck with them. All I know from the past is when I stopped checking social networks I felt the better for it. I’ve got a very active mind and it’s too easy for me to get sucked into Twitter in a way that’s unhealthy. I compare myself to others, read thread comments that often end up in people fighting or get annoyed by the way these platforms are being run or promoting certain types of material.

When I’m talking about social networks I’m also including YouTube in this one, for me this makes sense but appreciate not everyone see’s it as a social network. I see it as somewhere that people share their views and opinions. Getting sucked into the recommendations are the worst and clearly shows that the algorithm is favouring extreme videos over more positive and beneficial ones. Again something I don’t want to be a part of.

I’m not on Facebook or Instagram so that’s not a problem.

So until the end of September (to begin with) I’m going to be quitting social networks and if I end up in YouTube it’ll be via a direct video like iPhone 11 hands on etc. I’m not actively logged into YouTube anywhere and haven’t been for a while.

I’ll report back on how I’ve gotten on and hopefully the benefits I’ve experienced.

How to use Twitter less

Social Media, Tech

I’ve cracked it, yes finally I’m using Twitter a lot less and all it took was using the official Twitter app. I’ve been a user of Tweetbot for years but with the lack of seeing likes and mentions consistently I decided to switch over to the official app.

Here are some of the ways it’s changed my usage of the service.

Ads!

So many ads, I block and report for illegal services but they keep coming back. This is the main reason that I’m using it less, I’ve given up fighting the algorithm. I now open the app check a few tweets, see an ad I don’t like and close it again.

Quickly posting and getting out

If I’ve got something I’d like to share I’ll pop in and share and come out. I’m not posting and staying there for long. I’m now using Twitter less 5 times a day, which for me is a massive improvement.

Seeing the Top Tweets first

I used to hate this but now I’ve let it decide the tweets it wants me to see. I’m finding using method let’s me pop in and see what’s happening quickly.

RSS

I’m back reading blogs on RSS. Twitter was more of a way to see the latest on topics I’m interested in so replacing it with RSS has been pretty straightforward. (I’m using Reader 4 by the way).

I’m sure that Twitter wouldn’t like that their app is slowing down my use of their service but it’s really highlighted for me what their platform is. Tweetbot hid the bad for me and now I’m seeing it for what it is I’m disliking it more and more.

Dropping Reddit for my mental health

life stuff, Tech

Over the last year I’ve gotten sucked into Reddit but lately it’s given me the same negative vibes as using the Twitter app and following threads. I’ve been using Apollo (a great third party app) but have deleted it from my devices to help give me some headspace back. Following Apple subreddits is mostly where I spend my time but even the most innocent question results in corrections on grammar or sarcasm. It’s the same for me as following a thread or replying to someone popular on Twitter, something I stopped doing. So, to help my mental health I’ve stopped using it.

I’m not saying you need to stop using it necessarily just as someone that gets caught up in people’s feelings and more sensitive to this I’m out.