Moving away from Twitter, to Mastodon & my own website

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It’s been a while since I published something here. Last post is from 2013! That’s almost exactly 10 years ago! For the last few years, for many different reasons, I didn’t take the time to write anything that was worth publishing. When I had to share something online, I was mostly relying on Twitter by default, without even thinking about it. It was easy, convenient, and quite a direct way to interact with the small circle of friends and relatives I have online. As many other people, I was also relying a lot on Twitter to keep myself up-to-date on both work-related and more personal topics.

But here is the thing: I don’t want to use Twitter anymore. There is no point in going over what happened at Twitter in the last few months in this post. Anyone is either already aware of it or can figure it out on their own. As far as I’m concerned, I don’t want to contribute to a platform that has clearly become unsafe for their users. I wasn’t publishing much content there anyway lately (or ever…), but I was still using the app a few times a week.

A couple of months ago, I came back to my 2 accounts on Mastodon. I created those back in 2017 to test and understand the service, but without much conviction. They remained unused until November this year, when I jumped onto the #TwitterMigration boat and started rebuilding a social media habit on Mastodon instead of Twitter. After a couple of months on Mastodon, I’m now convinced this is a very good alternative that works for me. It’s different for sure, and anyone willing to move there will have to rebuild their social circle, which will end-up being different from the previous one. But that’s fine. Change is good. It helps to see things differently, and sometimes that’s useful. In my case, it helped me realize Twitter wasn’t a tool for me anymore. It might be useful for anyone looking to build a personal brand, and that’s how I used it at some point. But Mastodon is different. Maybe that’s just the people there, or maybe that’s because it’s a decentralized Fediverse… Anyway, it made me realize that having my online presence rely only on a private company is not really how I want to exist online. Over time, I forgot the reasons why I started publishing stuff on Internet. I liked to create things for my own entertainment and share them online for other people to eventually enjoy it. I liked to occasionally express a personal opinion and have a public conversation about it with strangers or relatives. I also liked having my own space and owning my content.

Even though I’m not sure why (well, I do know why, but I guess I’m not ready yet to write it down here), I wasn’t able to do all of this anymore on Twitter for a while. The Fediverse feels more like a place where I could learn this again. More than anything, using Mastodon for a couple of months reminded me about this personal website/blog you’re currently reading, which is obviously a very good place for my online existence. That’s a place I own, a place I can organize and arrange as I please. A place that won’t stop working because of a CEO decision, and from which I can’t be banned for publishing a link to another website.
Over the last few days, I’ve made a few changes to this site, such as replacing links to my Twitter profile with Mastodon ones 🤘, updating the theme and font-size, etc. I’ll eventually try to publish a few things online every now and then again, as a way to reclaim ownership of that space… We’ll see how it goes and how much time and energy I manage to dedicate to this during the next few weeks or months. But I feel like I’ll enjoy doing it, at least for a while.

To begin, I downloaded my Twitter archive and, thanks to the Tweetback project, started hosting all my old tweets on my domain as a first attempt to reclaim ownership on the content I posted on Twitter.

–> Have a look: _dhar’s Twitter Archive

This way, I’m sure I’ll keep track of that part of my online life no matter what happens to my account on that platform. And now I can delete my tweets from the other platform without any regrets. Even though I still need to figure out how to do this easily…