Matt Langford

Rethinking My Social Media Accounts

Over the past few months, I've been actively rethinking social media usage. As a husband and dad, I realized I was spending too much time on social media. At the same time, I didn't want a hard break from it. I needed to find the line between valuable and consuming.

My first step was to delete my Facebook account. I had held on to one for business purposes, but it had been a long time since I had found it helpful. Easy decision. While this only freed up a little time, cleaning two apps (Facebook & Messenger) off my phone felt great. It was a start!

Next, I needed to decide about Instagram. Unlike Facebook, I enjoy using Instagram. But this is one I knew I overused and needed to cut back. To help with that, I did a few things. First, I made my account private. Next, I went through the list of people I followed and did some serious pruning (cut out over ⅔). After that, I decided I would essentially make it a read-only app. I moved it off of my phone's Home Screen and stopped posting immediately. Now, I open it once every couple of days, scroll for a few minutes, and move on. This has been an enormous time saver for me!

Then comes Reddit. I'm not a power user, but I frequented Buy/Sell/Trade subreddits for watches, Apple gear, and EDC stuff. The easy move here was to get Reddit off of my Home Screen. Out of sight, out of mind.

Oh, Twitter. Over the last few years, most of my social media usage has been on Twitter. I was an early adopter (back when you had to text in tweets and no one even called them tweets). As people began to leave Twitter for one reason or another (primarily Elon Musk), engagement began to plummet as well. I'm not nearly as active there as I used to be, but I still use it to follow friends and sports columnists/athletes/outlets. When Twitter cut off access to Tweetbot, that added one more nail in the coffin. I'm not too fond of the Twitter app, so I rarely open it.

From Twitter to Mastodon. I'm a huge fan of Mastodon (follow me), but the network currently consists of early adopters and the tech community. I consider myself a part of both, but I miss many of the people I've engaged with on Twitter (primarily sports related).

The last thing to assess was my blog. For a while, I used micro.blog, and while there is nothing wrong with the service, it became a cross-posting whirlwind. What I posted there, particularly micro-posts, was then disseminated across other platforms. But replies/conversations were then siloed across the different networks. It became a hassle to manage. Micro.blog is a phenomenal service run by great people, but I needed something else.

That lead me to search for a new blogging platform. From experience, I knew I wanted to avoid all of the big boys (Wordpress, Ghost, Medium, etc.). I also knew some of the trendy alternatives weren't for me (Blot, GitHub Pages, etc.). Years ago, I became intrigued with Bear, even going as far as creating an account. But for one reason or another, I never published anything. This time, I decided things would be different.

So welcome to my new blog. It's like my old blog, except without micro-posts (those will be on Mastodon).

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