I’ve long put this perspective forward when discussing the “value” of social media with friends, but it bears remembering when I’m exhausted by the content that fills my feed on (insert social network here): our feeds are what we make of them. We—generally speaking—control the sources from which we read.
The change in experience I’ve had through Mastodon in the little time I’ve started to spend there has been significant (and something I know I’m far from alone in noting.) Various factors play into it—factors beyond the recent general chaos at Twitter (though it surely doesn’t help.)
But I’m reminded that building your follow list from an otherwise clean slate becomes an entirely different (and refreshing) beast. Something not weighed down with historical baggage of past decisions or curiosities. Just like writing, it can be awful refreshing to set aside the last draft and start again with a blank sheet of paper. (Though that extreme change isn’t needed to see a meaningful difference.
This morning on Twitter, I went through my follow list and unfollowed almost all the media/news/politics accounts I encountered. I’ll still get the news, and I want to stay updated. But is the quality of my day increased with by-the-minute flashes from the horse’s mouth? No.
Has my enjoyment of my feed changed? Significantly.