For those who don’t grasp what I’ve been doing (I’ve gotten some shade), I’m in the process of decluttering my life. Other people have stuff. I have projects and tasks. There have been things that I’ve been treating as obligations that really aren’t. It ended with me suffering from exhaustion. To make room for the things I need (rest, mainly) I’m getting rid of the things I don’t. So today I want to talk about how I finally hacked Twitter.
I have been longing for what Twitter used to provide for me, back around 2007 and 2008, when it was still fairly new. I met interesting people, had pleasant discussions, and made some friends. Then my life changed (to put it mildly), the way people used the network shifted, the culture got openly hostile, and my own needs evolved. I did not alter the way that I used Twitter in a way that let me keep up with these upheavals. Let me leave it at that.
The first thing that I did was to sort all of the accounts that I follow into lists. It’s not hard, but it takes time. I’ve been doing it, slowly, since before I hit the point of exhaustion. Authors that I follow go onto one list. RPG people go onto another list. I’ve got lists for comedians, drag queens, comic book creators, film stuff, photography stuff, and more. Now I can look at just the things that I want to see, when I want to see it, without wading through the fire hose of content.
Next, I unfollowed everyone who wasn’t following me back. I can see them on the list without having to follow them. This dropped the size of my main feed. Then I dropped people who follow me back, but A) don’t know and B) have never interacted with. Hopefully, this doesn’t hurt anyone’s feelings. I still see their posts on my lists.
Anyone who mainly posted political stuff was dropped. Seriously. I can see the horrific things happening in the world by reading the news. I appreciate the need for activism, and getting the word out. But if I’m following a science fiction account, say, that’s 95% politicial rhetoric, sorry, goodbye. I will get my news from reliable news sources. Even if I agree with them politically, that’s not what I’m there for. An occasional post, sure. All rage, all the time, no.
This left me following people I know, and people who follow me back. Ahhh. This works for me. Since I’ve more things on to lists, I’ve had more engagement. I’m seeing people’s posts. My follows have increased. I’m having pleasant conversations again. I’m gaining followers, even though I’m now only following around 50 people.
Update: I have found a Chrome extension called “Hide Twitter Guff” that makes the “trending topics” and “who to follow” sidebar blocks disappear. It’s the trends that I really needed to go away. It’s cool to learn about a breaking news story, but I don’t need a fire hose blast of disinformation or the rude, cruel, and willfully ignorant comments of complete strangers when I click on a link trying to find real, credible information.