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Twitter, we need a break.

I’m leaving Twitter for a week. Read why.

For better or for worse, I am leaving Twitter for a week. I have removed the app from my phone and my bookmarks. Sayonara, Twitter.

One of the main reasons would have to be my mental health. Twitter accelerates people with ‘engagements’, ‘click-through rates’ and ‘influencers’. This is to the detriment of the community, and especially to the working class that are consumed by platforms such as Instagram.

So, to see if I can remedy the above situation, I am going to commit to using Mastodon for a week. Mastodon is an open-source alternative to Twitter to accomodate decentralization, privacy, as well as freedom to its users.

One of the critical concepts behind Mastodon is federation. There is not one monolithic instance. Instead, users can freely self host their own instance to remain fully in control of their data. On top of that, users can also freely create their own mobile or desktop application to use with Mastodon. However, this is not to the detriment of the ordinary user: Mastodon allows users from separate instances to ‘interact’. You can follow and ‘boost’ posts from people using a different instance without any limitation.

If you’re confused by the term ‘boost’, a boost is simply a retweet, which will be familiar to users of Twitter. Mastodon also features ‘updoots’, which, you guessed it, means to upvote a post. This rhetoric is one of the reasons why Mastodon really shines, it’s touted as a more welcoming environment than alternatives such as Twitter.

One of the main attractions of Mastodon is the fact that it collects a lot less data on its users. Following this, the majority of Mastodon instance owners don’t sell data (do any of them do that?). In addition, Mastodon is a lighter service than Twitter, as it does not waste its resources on gathering your personal information, and it is also customizable in terms of the user interface.

From my first experience with Mastodon, it has felt similar to Twitter. This is of course the intended effect. As Mastodon is designed to be a more privacy-conscious alternative to Twitter, the developers have very carefully mimicked certain aspects of Twitter’s UI/UX.

Out of the vast selection of clients available, I am going to be using Tusky, and Pinafore on the web. Tusky is an advanced mobile client for Mastodon, which is the most-used client for connecting to Mastodon on Android. Meanwhile, Pinafore is a simpler web interface for Mastodon.

Pinafore is quite unique in how it treats users, as it contains a settings menu geared towards your mental health. I have never seen a platform treasure the mental health of its users to this extent. It is something every platform should be aware of, and tackle with the appropriate measures.

One of Pinafore’s features for its users’ mental health is hiding functions that may cause the user stress, such as like counts. Countless studies have been focused on the impact of the like button on the mental health of its users, which is detailed in this article: Why Do We Get Obsessed With ‘likes’ On Social Media? — Grazia.

In addition, Tusky is a feature-packed Mastodon client. It bundles a profusion of components which prove useful to the average micro-blogger. Features such as scheduling toots and managing your Mastodon profile are available in this application. It 8
is classed as the primary gateway to Mastodon on an Android device.

Another of the great things about Mastodon is that you can use your own client. You can use the normal web interface your instance provides, or use one of the front ends available on the web.

Mastodon is also free to modify. Instance owners regularly add instance-specific features for their users. Mastodon is truly a network designed for the people.

As part of this transition, I will commit to uploading regular updates on how Mastodon is working out for me.

P.S. I scheduled Tweets prior to my Twitter hiatus. They will still be coming through.

Try Mastodon. Free your social media.

A gigantic thank you to TheMainOne for helping me write, and encouraging me to write articles. Explore your writing, and see where it takes you.