Although it’s been a real delight to see so many people joining Mastodon over the past few weeks, I’ve found that there’s also a disadvantage that I hadn’t expected: I’m spending a lot more time scrolling through Mastodon these days than I ever have since setting up my Mastodon accounts.
When I began setting up Mastodon accounts and shifting away from Twitter back in April, I felt like I had made a big leap forward in terms of my online consumption. One thing that I’d always struggled with on Twitter was the feeling that I needed to see every single post from every single account. I’d eventually helped with that by consuming Twitter via RSS and narrowing my followed accounts down to the ones that I really, really wanted to follow. By virtue of converting Twitter to RSS, I was still consuming all the posts from those accounts, but it also forced me to only pick those accounts that wouldn’t overwhelm my RSS reader with posts I didn’t really care about.
A few months into joining Mastodon, I was happy for the freedom to follow all kinds of accounts without feeling that pressure to make sure that I saw all of their posts. I’d occasionally scroll through a feed (or my Micro.blog feed), and I’d enjoy seeing soem of the posts that came out, but I’d also go days without checking Mastodon, and there was never a sense of missing out on anything. It was great! I felt like I had made blogging the main focus of my social online presence, and that I had a healthy relationship with social media feeds without becoming overdependent on them.
So, while I’m happy about all the new additions to my Mastodon feeds I’ve made over the past few weeks, I’m also concerned about the stronger need that I’m now feeling to make sure I see everything. I’m glad that there are more people on Mastodon, and I’m glad that I can now follow people whom I used to follow on Twitter but haven’t in ages. Yet, the reason that I haven’t followed those people on Twitter in ages is because I recognized back then that I was too hooked on checking a feed; I see the same problem coming back now, and I want to head it off quickly. I want to quit scrolling, not just Twitter.
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