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.
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.
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.
You know I struggle with social media, I got into Twitter pretty deep and needed to get out and regain some headspace. I’ve done a few steps to help this including unfollowing everyone and removing the apps from my iPhone.
What I’ve found is that the best way (for me) is to schedule in my social media time. I have a reminder to log into Twitter every two weeks and in that time I check my notifications and DM’s. I then spend this time to reply to any that I have.
I’ve found that this has started to help me be more creative in my writing as I’m not constantly plugged into others opinions. It’s also allowing me to take time to just be bored and have some quiet time.
I’m only on day 3 of not using Twitter and whilst I’m using my iPhone less I’m missing out on engagement. I’ve come to realise that the majority of my shares and comments on what I write is done via Twitter. I’m seeing great growth by posting on my blog in short form instead of writing it on Twitter but not seeing the resulting engagement.
So I’ll be back on Twitter but will curb it down to checking it a few times a day. This is all about self control. I’ll also be heavily muting and unfollowing so that I don’t see anything that I don’t want to. My main app will be Tweetbot but I’ll need to use the official app just to check notifications of likes and RT’s. I’ve also notified that Tweetbot doesn’t get all of my mentions.
If you’re creating content, especially around technology then I feel you have to be on Twitter but if you don’t want to see the negative side I’ll be avoiding reading threads and only checking a few times a day, well that’s my goal anyway.
After seeing missed conversations and threads on Tweetbot I decided to give the official Twitter app another go. Well, I lasted 48 hours and had to delete.
- I hated seeing more news
- I had an advert every 3 posts on my timeline, even disliking ads and muting accounts didn’t help
- Muting is more fiddly
- Dark mode just isn’t dark enough
Back to Tweetbot and some calm.
You’ve probably read by now that Twitter is introducing new API’s that result in third party apps (like my favourite Tweetbot) losing functionality and being charged to effectively keep their customer base using their apps.
This is another move that is slowly but surely meant to see the end of all third party apps and I for one will end up using Twitter less.
I can see that Twitter want to drive people to their own app where they can serve you ads and monitor you more effectively but they have to realise there is a core influential set of users that will stop using the service.
I have two main problems
- I hate the official Twitter app. It’s serving ads, too much visual clutter and muting is less intuitive
- I stream my timeline. In Tweetbot I stream my timeline and pin them to the top of my screen so I can see tweets come in real-time. It’s how I keep up with what’s going on (that’s important to me). I stopped reading mainstream news a long time ago and Twitter wants to show me as much as possible
We are a few months away before this comes into play so maybe Twitter will do something but I’m not holding my breath.
My favourite Twitter app Tweetbot has got a shiny new version for the MAC. This is just a short post to let everyone know it’s available but I’ll be digging into it over the next week and will write up my thoughts.