After nearly 15 years on Twitter, I’m gone. I’ve never used it that much anyway and was always more of a lurker than active antagonist on the platform. I followed a small number of people, mostly from education, writing and comics. I didn’t post very much. When I added something to my blog it automatically forwards it to Twitter (I’ll end that after this). For the last couple of years I’ve been aware how toxic things have been – particularly in educational discussions. Lots of people I’ve followed for years seem to be on a right-ward shift and don’t just debate their ideas, but come across as nasty and aggressive. Almost all of them are self-promoting books and come across, frankly, as cultish. I can do without all that. It’s disappointing as many of these toxic pedagogues were people who had interesting takes on teaching and learning in 2010 and were worth reading. Very few say anything worth reading these days. (And lots of once seemingly-progressives have lately taken the Tory coin.) I’ve also just finished reading Jenny Odell’s How to Do Nothing, an excellent reminder about valuing attention and not allowing social media to control your attention. In many ways, it means a return to the pre-Twitter days of the internet when I used to actively look for interesting stuff rather let a media stream direct my attention and (obviously) set the tone. I’ve used Mastodon for five years (and support the idea of a decentralised, non-corporate social media platform) and will keep an attentive eye on what’s happening over there now that it’s flooded with Twitter refusniks. Mastodon is a different beast to Twitter and has a very different culture. It’s harder to understand how to use and I think a lot of the self-promoting types who’ve left Twitter as a knee-jerk reaction to Musk will go back. I’ve put down the livid_hedgehog name, too. It was a silly user name that I adopted in the early-00s – I had short, spiky hair, felt furious about things and had hedgehogs in the garden of the house. It’s taken five years to get to this point. And here I am.