Many of you will know through my posts that I’m a big App.net fan. It’s my goto place when I want to drop in on conversations, strike up news ones with others and also just as a place to post what I am doing. It’s also the one public social network that I participate in.
I’ve never been interested in creating a Facebook account as I simply seeing as being too much of an overhead to maintain. I also deleted my Twitter account this year. It was coincidental that the timing of this action happened at the same time as Twitter were enforcing new rules on the use of their API. I just felt that I wasn’t getting anything back from Twitter in terms of value.
Since switching to a single public social network, I’ve noticed a number of positive things that have occurred as a result of my limiting action.
No more drowning in micro-information
The first thing I immediately noticed was that I was no longer constantly checking my Twitter timeline. Looking back I wonder now why I even had an account there in the first place. It’s a social network for micro-updates that only offers limited information in each post. I did find it interesting hearing what other people were working on, but Twitter’s post limit of 140 characters seriously limits the amount of context you can put on a post.
Less apps and services to use
With just one social network to my name, I have less apps on all my devices. It’s a minor thing but having less apps on my devices means less time updating them, searching for new ones and of course less time checking them. I also work with a ‘one in, one out rule’. As much as possible I will try and keep the number of products and services I use down to a minimum. That means that more often than not, I will replace older apps with new apps rather than running two at the same time.
Less of a digital footprint
I like keeping a small digital footprint. Nothing to do with trying to stay under the radar in terms of the government spying on you, but more to do with my own data and it’s safety. As soon as I stop using a product or service I try and delete the account I had with that product or service. I do this because I don’t want my login details lying around on another companies database when it doesn’t need to.
It’s not for everyone
Limiting yourself isn’t for everyone, but it was amazing to see how little I depended on Twitter after just a couple of weeks of deleting my account. I used to think of social networks as places to find more information on topics, but the truth is that I find everything I need in the form of blogs, newsletters and podcasts.
I now see social networks as more of a place for conversation. Fortunately App.net does this aspect of interaction very well and I’m happy to remain a paying subscriber to it.