Andrew Travers

Andrew Travers is a designer and researcher. He’s the author of Interviewing for research.

Cold Turkey

Posted on 30 Oct 2022

I spend way too much time on social media. You probably do too.

The drama surrounding Twitter’s ownership this week has seen a number of people I know signing up for, or dusting off, Mastodon accounts to re-create a social network in what they hope might be a better, safer space.

Whether it works out or not, there’s a pleasingly optimistic intent that I hope I never become cynical about. But, after a bit of reflection, I think the way I want to approach it — or at least to experiment with — is instead to think of this as an opportunity to re-set rather than replicate how I’m using social media and the wider web.

I’m going to try and spend a few weeks out of Twitter, out of Mastodon, out of Instagram and lean into the other things I’m already using and love: RSS (I recommend Feedbin), podcasts and Substack email newsletters; and to spend more time sharing and chatting in Messages and Signal.

Just like people who stop drinking and suddenly find the biggest gain is actually time, maybe as much as lessening the psychological hold of a timeline, it’ll create space for new habits, a lighter mood, a little less of that low-level anxiety. Maybe it’ll just feel lonely. Let's see.