One or two accounts regularly posting things that don't interest you is manageable, but the more you add, the easier it is to lose the signal in the noise. With no algorithm working to keep you addicted, it's easy to let your Home timeline get overrun. Follow freely, but also be ready to unfollow for basic quality of life reasons. The Federated timeline can be overwhelming, but your Home timeline shouldn't be. You have to tend it like a garden, and a little pruning goes a long way.

Follow

Mastodon provides several tools for managing your timeline.

You can add notes to any profile. Why did you follow them? Are they a repeat offender? Remind yourself.

You can disable boosts on a per-user basis. Maybe you want to see a user's posts, but not everything that interests them.

You can temporarily mute an account while they get something out of their system.

You filter out posts with specific words, hashtags or phrases.

And when all else fails: block, unfollow, or mute indefinitely.

What else? Maybe you ONLY want to see posts by people you've chosen to follow. You can disable boosts in your Home timeline.

Maybe you follow several very chatty people, and their conversations tend to crowd out other things you'd prefer to see. You can turn off replies in Home, so that only the start of each thread is displayed.

(You can also make the Local and Federated timelines show only posts containing media.)

Mastodon gets regular waves of new signups, and unfortunately a lot of great users bounce off almost immediately. For some, the reason is that their timelines quickly descend into chaos. Part of the reason is that Mastodon gives users a ton of ways to customize their experience, but generally doesn't make assumptions about which you'll want to use. (The mobile app is more opinionated in that regard.) So if you feel lost or overwhelmed, check out those tools, and feel free to ask for help.

@lrhodes
True. In the same way that the fediverse is likened to email in terms of connectivity, it's also nearly the same for content. Looking at the global timeline is like watching a stream of emails in real time - it's like trying to drink from a firehose.
Things like https://communitywiki.org/trunk , @FediFollows suggests and themed instances help.
Also, if you meet just One person with your interests, you can look at their follows (if they are public) or ask them for recommendations. Asking the firehose for suggestions is... a bit silly! :-)

@lrhodes This is such a lovely little thread with such perfect bits of well thought out advice in it. Thank you so much for sharing it. I think it will help many people. I resonate deeply with the importance of tending the follows like a garden. 🌱

@lrhodes How do I disable boosts from specific users? I already noticed that using my phone doesn't work as well as the website on my laptop but I can't see a setting like that. Is it instance dependent?

@Giagia If you go to the user's profile and click on the three dot menu next to follow, there should be an options for "Hide boosts from [user]". If you don't see that in the app you're using, you may need to open the web interface.

@lrhodes Very cool, I hadn't noticed the symbol before. Thank you, I am very grateful!

@lrhodes ooh I didn't know abt disabling boosts per-user, that's good to know

@lrhodes how do you add notes to a profile? Of maybe this option isn’t possible in the iOS app ??

@mattcoler If you open another user's profile, the "Note" field should be between the user's links (like "Website" on your profile) and their bio. If it isn't there, then yeah, I suspect that's another way the app has simplified the UI.

@lrhodes must be UI issue. Nice feature! Will check it out on the website directly. Thanks!

@lrhodes keep these kinds of posts coming, please. I knew nothing of this. Love it!

@lrhodes Is the "temporarily mute" feature one that automatically times out, or one that you've got to specifically remember to unset?

I do see "mute user". I don't see "until ..."

@dredmorbius @lrhodes When you mute a user a little modal window pops up that has a "Duration" field which defaults to "Indefinitely", but can be changed to a variety of temporary durations.

@DamnCatOnMyDesk Hrm...

That's either a recent feature or hasn't yet been ported to Glitch.soc (and/or toot.cat's back a few revs) because that's not what I'm seeing.

(The joys of rapidly-developing federated multi-implementation apps: inconsistent features.)

@lrhodes

@dredmorbius @lrhodes It's available on mstdn.social, which uses Glitch.soc. So it's definitely your instance's version.

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