Own Your Social Presence


This will not be a how-to-use Mastodon and the Fediverse post, those  already  exist. It will be the telling of the enlightenment that dawned on me shortly after creating a Mastodon account and finally using it. Twitter had felt stale and frustrating for years to me and particularly lately. I knew why, but I was unsure what to do about it until I tried Mastodon.

I would often go days without looking at Twitter; other than getting a laugh from a few folks I followed, it offered very little value. I did not get news from Twitter because the order of posts is no longer in chronological order; I would sometimes see posts I already saw the day before again before new posts. The most annoying feature driving me not to open the application was that I saw posts from people who were followed by others. The the algorithm turned Twitter into a vast echo chamber. There were a few people who I valued their opinion on politics, but Twitter turned that one follows into a complete negativity of the world, especially politics, on my timeline.

As soon as I spent some time following a few folks on Mastodon, I instantly noticed what I initially enjoyed about Twitter. I could check out my timeline a few times a day and now know when I had caught up, and I was not inundated with negativity the way the Twitter algorithm had started to do. I also did not have to stop and stare at a particular post to see if it was an advertisement; there are no advertisements on Mastodon.

It dawned on me yesterday that I felt like I finally owned my social media presence. I can go to Mastodon and interact pleasantly if I choose to, but nothing is being served to me to elicit a response. With Mastodon, you genuinely own your social media; no company owns it. You can take your posts and go elsewhere if you choose and even choose a new account name. Best of all, if you want, you can run your Mastodon instance and still communicate with the other Mastodon instances.

I have read news articles saying Mastodon is not a replacement for Twitter, Mastodon IS a replacement, and it IS better, and the community IS better. After removing all the connected applications I had added throughout the years, I logged out of my Twitter account and deleted Twitter from my phone. You can find me on Mastodon @irongeek@indieweb.social.