The reverse chronological timeline has been failing for me recently. As has the notifications tab for mental health reasons.
I think I was a little afraid to admit it to myself, but it is.
I log in a few times a day, read only a little bit (whatever is recently posted at the time), miss out completely on what’s posted when I’m sleeping, and have found myself missing posts from people I generally enjoy hearing from.
All the cool kids live on the other side of the globe, so I’m more likely to miss out than not.
Sometimes through some interaction I find a toot that was posted 7 hours ago (while I was sleeping) that I feel sad about missing.
Maybe it’s a social media problem too. Why do I need to hear from all these people? Why do I feel sad if I miss out? I certainly don’t feel that way when I’m away for a few days for IRL reasons. But I do feel that way when it’s just my daily schedule where this happens.
Unfortunately it’s lacking UX improvements too. You can’t hide boosts and/or replies like you can on the home TL. I hide all boosts and would require that on my lists too.
Lists are simply not tenable for me without these “filters.”
Why not use the bell icon for people I enjoy hearing from? The bell icon crowds my notifications and actually overwhelms me so I’m a very conservative user there… and is not a proper solution to the problem anyway. In fact, it brings me to my next problem.
What if I enjoy hearing from 50 people? I’d see about ~200 notifications per day. This is separate from all the other kinds of notifications: boosts, stars, new spam reports, and so on.
I’d love for notifications to be “grouped” in hourly blocks to make them more readable and consumable.
These, I believe, are also growing pains. Maybe they will be tackled one day, maybe they won’t. I definitely feel like usability has been tanking and I’m not a fan.
Maybe it doesn’t need a new “algorithm” as much as a whole bunch of well thought out convenience features to make the current timeline usable.
And, let me be clear: at this activity level, for me, it is not.