Like many others, I’ve been thinking a lot about Twitter, social media in general, and what being on a social media platform means for me.
The other day I logged into Twitter with my HTMHell account and I looked at the feed. It was full of opinions by “tech personalities” (men), funny tweets, and random videos. It felt like being on Reddit or 9gag. That’s not the reason I’m on social media. To be fair, it mostly showed recommended tweets because I only follow 3 accounts (React, Vue, and Angular. Funny, right?), but others told me that their feeds are full of NFT and crypto spam and Musk’s brain farts, too.
Looking at the Twitter timeline again after a month of being on Mastodon made me realize just how fucked up Twitter is. So much superficial, attention seeking and useless crap driven by the urge for more and more engagement fueled by a harmful algorithm. This form of social media is not good for us. And it’s not just Twitter, Instagram and TikTok aren’t any better. The other day I saw a report on TV that talked about the severe psychological consequences social media has on us and our self-perception.
(Too much) social media is not good for us. Yes, I know, that’s not a new insight, but I feel like I’m finally being honest with myself for the first time in terms of my behaviour on social media. Just like others constantly post photos to get attention and engagement, I did the same with other content. I feel like it’s time for me to restart. Social media is great for many reasons, but I believe I wasn’t using it correctly.
By the end of the year, I will delete the HTMHell Twitter account. No, not deactivate, delete! Many say that they still want to keep their accounts in case things might get better again, but I believe they're lying to themselves. The ship has sailed, Twitter is dead.
I will move my personal website to a different stack. A CMS instead of 11ty. When I asked Andy how he made comments work on his static site, he replied, “Ah this is a WordPress site! That was the problem—I was messing around so much with tech, rather than just, y’know, writing. This setup makes it super easy for me :)”, and he’s absolutely right. I want to enable comments on my site and maybe even add a login, and I really don’t want to jump through hoops for something as easy as that just because I want to use a certain stack.
I’ll reactivate the HTMHell Newsletter. I’ve started it about a year ago but quickly got bored or overwhelmed. I don’t know. Maybe I didn’t get as much engagement as on Twitter? :) Anyways, I believe newsletters are I still a nice way of sharing and retrieving information.
I’ll use Mastondon to keep in touch with friends and share ideas, but I won’t promote my work as much on there. If people want to follow my work, they can visit my site or follow via RSS.
And finally, I’ve deleted the Mastodon app on my smartphone. Checking the site whenever I’m in front of a computer should be enough. This means no social media in the evening and on weekends for me. Doesn’t sound too bad.
Let’s see how that goes. :)