Trying this new Mastodon Thing

So amidst the mass migration from the hellscape that Twitter has become, the focal point for the mythical social network utopia has become Mastodon. Or to be more accurate the fediverse which is a federated decentralized social network experiment. Mastodon has become the most popular applications of this new space on the inter webs.

Anyways, one of the cool things about the Fediverse is the way to self-verify your account and get yourself a checkmark. Or so it is in theory. But so far, executing this self-verification process has proved quite elusive. It’s something called rel= “me”. Basically, after you create your profile and join one of the many decentralized servers in the mastodonverse, you can paste some html gobblygook on one of your websites (ie, this WordPress blog). Link to it on your mastodon profile and then voila! You’re verified. My latest attempt is following the instructions from this blog. Hopefully this post will do the trick.

Removed Social Networks From My Life

It’s been many moons since my last post and a lot had to do with my continued interest in podcasting again. Well as of October 7th, 2020, I decided to call it quits on podcasting, at least for now. I did a lot of hemming and hawing before coming to that conclusion but finally decided to pull the plug on my audio diary. I decided to focus on other things in my life that didn’t allow for much time for podcasting. I also decided that if I want to podcast again sometime later, it will be a different show altogether and the audio diary route, like all of my past attempts at journals and diaries, lost its appeal to me.

Also, sadly, as I looked over my last post where I stated that I was going to be all about the iPad life, hasn’t quite come to full fruition. If anyone has been listening to my podcast, they will know of the purchase of a 2019 MacBook Pro 16-inch laptop and my plans of using it for my film major that got cut short abruptly. Consequently I just went back to using a computer for my podcasting needs and my iPad Pro became a media consumption device.

Maybe, with podcasting back on the back burner, I’ll start to blog more and try other creative things on my iPad. I’ve sadly have not done any drawing like I had initially thought I would. And now that I’m using a wireless mouse I only use the Pencil whenever the mouse isn’t able to interact with the screen the way my finger or the pencil will.

Anyways, enough of the recap, lets get to the subject of this blog post, social networks. I’ve had Facebook out of my life for 2-3 years now and I couldn’t be happier. But I was still doing the doom scrolling on Twitter and on Reddit. I also used WhatsApp b/c of others in my life that just have to use that messenger app for some reason or other. Well for almost a year, I had Twitter deleted from my device and almost never went to the website to keep up with my feed and, surprisingly, I didn’t miss it like I thought I might.

And then COVID-19 happened. I’ve become more isolated from the real world as I began to work from home. The first month I was living the sedentary life and just consuming media whenever I could. But then I finally started to exercise more regularly than I’ve had most of my life, and started doing meditation to improve my state of mind and calm any of the anxieties I was starting to feel from this forced social isolation.

I’m a social hermit and homebody by nature so being home away from the masses is nothing new to me. But I also had to interact with people at work and when I was in school and I did enjoy those moments of human interaction. I was starting to really missing those moments and tried to connect more on Reddit and Twitter but those interactions were making me feel more empty and a bit despondent. I removed the Reddit apps from my devices again and, along with meditation and exercising, I was feeling better again and noticed, like with FaceBook, I wasn’t missing those networks.

This revelation, led me to delete my Twitter account, of many many years, and my Reddit account and I haven’t felt any regret about my decision. It has been quite liberating and I’m further enjoying my completed isolated life from the world. I still have those close to me that I keep in contact with via messaging and video/audio calls. And that has sufficed.

I Suck At Social Networks

I recently reactivated my account on Twitter (yet again). I keep hearing how people are better informed because of this network so I decided to try to use it as a newsfeed, like a more real-time version of a rss reader. Of course this only works if I follow just news accounts and other accounts that catch my fancy and not follow people who I would normally follow on say FaceBook. I’m sure there is a more social way to use Twitter but I’ve not found a way to do it (it’s one of the reasons I’ve killed my account so many times). Which brings me to a realization: I suck at social networks.

Then again I’m not really good at socializing to begin with. When I’m not at work socializing with customers or work associates, I’m home doing non-socializing forms of recreation (reading, listening or watching some form of media). At least that has been my main form of recreation for the last year. The only exception to this are the few social casual games I play on my phone thanks to Zynga. I have been going out to comedy shows a lot less and staying home a lot more. I guess I’ve become a bit of a social recluse and I guess I’m ok with that.

It seems I’m more comfortable spending my time escaping into mediums of fiction rather than meeting new people or making more social connections. I only have enough time to just do random status updates and lurk through my various news feeds/timelines/streams to get an idea of what’s going on and then I log out and go on about my day (or at least that’s the only time I’m willing to divulge). Then again, another reason I don’t seem to updated my accounts much is that I don’t do much besides work and then go home. There is only so many times you can post that mundanity.

Oh well, how about you? How do you use your social networks? Do you get more out of Twitter than just a news feed function? Let me know.

Our Digital Nation

I recently saw this PBS Frontline Special called Digital Nation and was intrigued on the study of the internet on everyday life. It is true that most of us web 2.0ers are more engrossed with our smartphones and laptops and probably communicate less on a more personal basis.  I also wasn’t completely surprised by the Stanford study on multi-tasking and how the results were that when people multi-task they are in fact less effective than when they take things head-on and one at a time. This makes sense to me because I have noticed that there were times when I tried to listen to a podcast and read an email or a website and realized that I wasn’t able to complete that feat.

Having my life becoming more intermingled with the internet is one of the reasons that I’ve decided to cancel my Facebook account.  For some reason it has become a bit more oppressive toward me than a delight. I constantly felt like I had to make time to check on my news feeds, emails, etc. This of course took time away from more leisure or more important pursuits of mine. Not to mention that I’ve become more easily distracted and have an increased short-attention span than before. Of course, I still have my Twitter account up and running so I’m not completely disconnected from the digital world.

Frontline: Digital Nation is a great show on how the internet and other digital distractions have been changing our perspective on life and how it’s changing our brain patterns and how we think. I highly recommend it to everyone to watch and gauge how involved they’ve also become with this digital lifestyle.

Joining more social networks

I was becoming increasingly frustrated with keeping track of my twitter feeds and I was hoping to find some other way of making it more convenient besides just having a plug-in to my browser, when my wife introduced me to Friendfeed.  According to her, this would be a useful website for me because it strings conversations along in a linear user-friendly style.  After signing up and noticing that I could add other social networks in their so I could just have a all-in-one site, I stumbled upon Goodreads.

Anyone who knows me knows that I love to read and try whenever I can find the time.  More importantly if ever I’m curious about a book I always have to do a search for reviews and wonder if the review I’m reading is tailored to my tastes.  Well according to this site, which is a social network for book-lovers, you can link to like-minded individuals and read their reviews, likes and dislikes and see if you can find some good recommendations for yourself as well as suggest some of your own.  This sounds all fine and dandy, though I’m sure I’ll be wasting more time on the Internet before I can find a way to better manage it so I can focus on other things in my life.  Here’s hoping that time comes soon.  Now with this and a new podcast, I just keep piling stuff for me to do on my plate with no end in site.

At least I just have one site to visit now and maybe add more books to my “to do” list while I’m there.