Friends, I’ve decided to take a step back from Twitter in 2024.
Since I still communicate with quite a lot of ham radio friends on Twitter (the only reason I still use the platform) this has actually been a difficult decision to make.
So why leave?
Two main reasons:
- There’s just not enough time in the day to keep up with multiple social media accounts. I quit Facebook a couple years ago and it had a meaningful positive impact in terms of feeing up time. These days, I need the extra time to invest in answering comments here on QRPer.
- I much prefer Mastodon over Twitter.
Twitter has been a brilliant platform and I’ve been on it for over a decade, but I don’t use it like most people who want to follow news, politics, trending stories/memes, etc. I only use Twitter to communicate with my ham radio friends and community.
This year, I’ve noticed that I have less control to keep “trending” stories from accounts I’ve never followed (nor intend to follow) out of my feed. Even when I mute unsolicited accounts, they re-appear a couple weeks later because I assume they’re paying for placement. It all makes the Twitter experience more cluttered and time-consuming for me. And frankly? I know this will only get much worse–likely, by orders of magnitude–during an election year!
In the end, I’m not a “doom scroller”–I do social media for the social part.
Instead, I’m going to spend my social media time on Mastodon.
As my teenage daughters would say, I like the somewhat nerdy “vibe” on Mastodon.
Here are some more specific reasons:
- Our ham radio instances/servers on Mastodon (https://mastodon.radio/ and https://mastodon.hams.social/ to name a couple) are administered by ham radio operators. When you join a ham radio server, you’re going to be surrounded by other radio enthusiasts from day one.
- There are no ads. Mastodon is free (though your server admins will appreciate occasional contributions) and there are no advertising accounts whatsoever. This also means that Mastodon is much more private than Twitter and doesn’t track your clicks or scrolling behavior.
- You have better, more granular control of what shows up in your news feed. This is a biggie for me. I’ve been on Mastodon since June 2022 and I’ve yet to see one unsolicited item in my notifications feed. There’s no algorithm behind the scenes that dictates what you see and in what order.
- Mastodon is federated and de-centralized. No single company or person can own Mastodon–you’re not going to wake up one morning and find that Mastodon has gone out of business or been sold. If, for some reason, your server admin goes rogue, you can move your entire account along with all of your followers to a different server seamlessly.
- My experience on Mastodon has been very positive. It reminds me of Twitter 12 years ago.
In short: I feel like Mastodon is a more focused, permanent, robust, and resilient social media platform.
Come join me on Mastodon!
Here’s where you’ll find me: https://mastodon.radio/@qrper
It’s free to join and while there are a number of radio instances and servers out there, I know the admins of both of these:
- Mastodon.Hams.Social (administered by Mark, N6MTS)
- Mastodon.Radio (administered by Christopher, M0YNG)
It doesn’t really matter which server you join, though keep in mind that Mark’s server is in the US and Christopher’s in the UK. You might see a slightly better ping time using a servers that’s physically closer to you.
Down the rabbit hole!
If you’d like a really deep-dive into the world of Mastodon, I would strongly encourage you to listen to the Ham Radio Workbench episode where we interviewed Christopher (M0YNG):
This interview with Christopher will answer all of your questions–it was a really fun episode, to boot!
I hope my friends on Twitter understand why I need to distill my social media down to one platform. I will occasionally–maybe once a month–log in briefly if for no other reason to keep the account active and make sure no one has sent me private messages.
If you need to reach out to me, consider joining Mastodon and following me, or simply comment here on QRPer.com.
Have a very Happy New Year, everyone!