Posting versus blogging

I’ve been blogging for just shy of 20 years not counting my static html site in the late 1990s. Ah yes, I remember fondly “blogging” with straight html and ftping updates to a manually updated list of links. Over those 20 years I’ve accumulated far too many categories due to sloppiness and a lack of intent in my use of them. I’m still not entirely clear how I want to use them.

In any case, as I’ve been doing a bit of tidying up I’ve also noticed that most of my posting over the past few months has been increasingly of the “micro” type post. Essentially, 280 words or less which is the limit on timeline posts on The thing about micro posts, wherever I may have posted (Mastodon,, or previously, Twitter), my primary intent is to share with other people. This might seem obvious as that’s the point of social media.

But as I read through older posts I’m reminded that for me blogging is more about the writing down of my experiences for myself as much as anyone else. Blogging is an act of journaling for the sake of writing, remembering, and appreciating the happenings of my life. Sure, I’m posting on a website that I’m happy to have others find and read but when I’m blogging that is secondary to the deeper, reflective process.

Of course it’s possible to do both but it’s easy to fall into the habit of the shorter social posting as it requires less effort. I’d like to make more of an effort at longer posts as they reflect a deeper, more deliberate thoughtfulness on the life I’m living and an appreciation of that life.

Another aspect of this is just the realization that it’s easier to let free time with a screen become a more passive consumption of timelines. In recent times there’s more awareness and discussion of the nature of different timelines in various social media and the hazards of “doom scrolling” and an algorithm designed to keep people “engaged”. I deleted Facebook long ago but continued using Instagram and to a lesser degree Twitter. But then stopped using Instagram only to see my time increase on Twitter. Now I’ve left twitter and am using Mastodon and Micro.Blog.

The common story at the moment is that Mastodon, compared to Twitter, has a much better, friendlier, healthier community and timeline and I think that’s true. Even more so where there is a deliberate design to encourage people to engage with one another with actual comments rather than just boosting or liking posts. I think both of these are healthier than the social media that have come before. But they’re still a kind of social timeline where it can become a habit to scroll and react. And while leaving a comment is more thoughtful than a simple boost or like, the timeline is still a primarily social and more consumptive/reactive process.

One of my favorite websites of the early to mid 2000s was Flickr which, unlike the others that came later, never felt like a bad place to be. There are a lot of high quality photos on Mastodon and quite a few on too, it reminds me a bit of my time on Flickr.

Overall I’m finding that most of my non-work time with a screen is being split between Mastodon and and I’m really enjoying time spent between the two. But I’m hoping to shift a bit more of my time to reflecting and writing with a goal of a better balance.