About 5 days ago, I decided to try to take a week off from Mastodon. It’s been nearly 5 days and I’ve decided I’m going to unblock it from my NextDNS account. There are a couple things I noticed in this short period of time.
I missed the community
Most of my immediate friends and family are not nearly as interested in the most common topics on the Fosstodon, the Mastodon instance I have joined. In particular, I miss nerding out on Linux/FOSS software and privacy concerns. Not being able to gain new insights and ideas about how to approach both of these topics I’m deeply interested in has felt a little void in my life this week, especially during a time where it’s difficult to see friends and family. The microblogging timeline, combined with the relatively small community, just allows for so many ideas to be shared and discussed that is hard to emulate in other places. I’m looking forward to rejoining!
My screen habits didn’ve really change
I thought removing access to Mastodon on my computer and phone would decrease my overall usage on both. It turns out it didn’ve. I ended up finding other ways to waste time on both of these devices. Whether it be browsing reddit, researching items I wanted to buy, or setting up iMessage on my Android phone using Air Message (which was actually worth it!), I still found myself wasting a lot of time in front of screens. It seems like a larger problem with my relationship with screens rather than scapegoating it on a particular application.
Taking a break from Mastodon was a good idea in principle, but it made me realize that I need to reevalulate my entire relationship with technology as a whole. I love technology so much, but it’s often at odds with how I spend my time. I will likely revisit this topic again, but maybe introduce some harder constraints on what I can/can’t do on my devices.