Saturday Social – Nov. 19, 2022 Edition: The Twitter Migration and Online Time Management –

There were days when I spent every spare minute online – and even some minutes I couldn’t spare, truth be told; the IRC had me firmly in its grasp! Then I overcame that phase and put my social online time in its place eventually was a great thing! And worked fine into my “real life” schedule for a long time.

Then as I got older my formerly-barely-life-altering health situations starting limiting me a little here and a little there…then a little more here and a little more there…then a lot mor – well, you get the picture. Days where I couldn’t do much physically I still felt useful by accomplishing things and shining my light online. And now here I am, with more down days than up-and-about days, and still feeling useful. Building this website (one of my main passions in life) is a Big Deal to me. Often it’s fun, but more than that it is fulfilling and I love sharing things that bring people smiles, and joy…even, hopefully, the ultimate joy found in Jesus…

Anyway, another of my online things that help me to still feel useful is moderating for a Christian Mastodon instance whose ministry I want to support. On Mastodon, because it is federated, other people’s “toots” (posts) are shared in a feed to our instance. There can be hundreds of these per hour. And because we keep things clean for our members, I remove anything that goes against our own rules (profanity, sexual content, bigotry, spamming, etc.). Their toots are still visible everywhere else of course…and individual members can still choose to see them. But they don’t show up in our federated feed anymore.

Until the recent #TwitterMigration I’d spend a couple of hours a day on this task, going back through the feed for the last 5-6 hours’ worth of toots at a sitting and it worked well without much effort. Of course I still can’t catch them all (although I do go back through the known offensive accounts for the last day or 2 to check those too) and sometimes our own members report something they’d seen that was unseemly, which helps. But it is taking more and more time though I love doing it, because for every toot I have to remove, I see dozens that I love reading!

Oh yes, time, that’s what this was supposed to be about! Let’s get back on track. I am reorganizing my online time, both for the days when I’m able to be up and about and partaking in real life, and for those days when I am less mobile. But either way I have had to tame the time monster. And it isn’t only about my moderating time – not by far! That was just my mind going down a rabbit hole… I MAY start using Mewe again (I culled all of the inactive people I used to interact with there, from 73 contacts to 19, as well as left half of the groups/communities I used to be in), if so I need to shift some time to this. I’m still trying to use Pinterest more. And I’m not doing justice at Gab, where I love to spend time…that’s another paragraph…

My Gab account is carefully curated. I’ve written before about how to make Gab your own – it is actually quite perfect for that! – and, briefly, one of the things I do to manage who and what I see is start my time there reading content from my groups feed; these are groups I’ve chosen for their content, and that are more likely to contain the topics and posts and users that I’d like. While enjoying those, sometimes I see a post from someone that catches my eye, so I will follow that person and, if I like most of their posts, I add them to my personal feed which is what I really love best. This feed shows ONLY content from those I’ve added to it.

It is in my own feed that I want to spend more time; I don’t want to just read through the posts, I want to interact more with these people…develop connections rather than just click an icon to let them know what I think of what they shared. So I need to shift more time to this.

And even, going back to the Mastodon instance about which I’ve already written, I definitely want more time to spend actually interacting with the other members. So here’s my plan: Rather than spending multiple hours at a sitting doing moderation, spend chunks of time mornings and evenings dedicated to the task, and during those other “down times” during my normal days – waiting for my supper to finish cooking, watching TV, or when I’m usually playing solitaire – moderate on my phone instead. I like moderating better than solitaire anyway. Actually I’ve already started implementing this moderating schedule for the last 2 days. AND IT’S WORKING! Very cool, eh? Getting just as much done, in less time! Given whatever I’m doing IRL on a certain day, I’ll still be able to do the things that are the most important to me! (My daily prayer is that I will get lots more IRL time again!)

As a friend used to say, “It can all be done.” And I think I’ve figured out how!

If you’re still with me, I hope you’ve gotten some use from this…maybe learned something about federation you didn’t know before, maybe started to think about your own time management, maybe wondered if you could feel more useful if you did different things, or whatever. I hope so.

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