Álvaro Serrano, on taking a break from social media:
It’s taken a lot of introspection, but I’ve realized that social media has been slowly poisoning my character in ways I don’t even fully understand. Being constantly exposed to an endless stream of negativity has made me more angry, and it has shortened my fuse significantly. My tolerance for disagreement is at an all-time low, and I find myself being defensive even when there’s no apparent reason for it. Perhaps more importantly, it’s been draining my capacity for joy and my ability to appreciate the little things in life. All of this has had an impact in my everyday life, my work and my relationships, and I’ve had enough.
It sounds like Álvaro is taking more drastic measures than I am, but I can’t fault him. The level of anger and frustration I experience from my timeline has increased exponentially over the past few years. It’s finally reached a breaking point.
I tried mitigating it with mute filters, but too much snuck through. So I’ve decided to unfollow some folks for a bit to see if that’s a more effective method. I’ve made note of everyone I’ve unfollowed and plan to refollow many of them at a later date.
Much of the tweets that leave me angry and upset are regarding news stories that I’ve already seen through other outlets — primarily RSS and Reddit. So it’s not as if I’m going to miss anything that I want to or should know about. But removing those from my timeline is a way to manage my exposure to topics that effect my mood.
And hopefully these steps will improve my mental health and turn Twitter into a service that I actually enjoy again.