Twitter in 2020

All our twitter threads are pretty old and I’ll admit I didn’t really join and get active until about a year ago because of all the bad press and things you hear from people deriding twitter.

I dipped my feet in slowly, with only about 10 people I followed and looked at it only once a week if that. Now, a year later, only one of those I still follow (Popehat), but I now follow over 70 people and I read it once a day for about 30-45 minutes. I find it’s probably the best way to gather what’s going on in the world that interests me and I get a lot of links to interesting articles / thoughts that I find really interesting with some funny. Because everyone needs some fun.

I retweet more as a way to bookmark interesting things than in saying things. I think I’ve replied to people maybe 5 times. I’m far more of a follower than a contributor. But it suits me.

If I could give some advice to me over a few years ago, I’d say

  1. Be more aggressive in cultivating who you follow. Drop people faster, try more people out
  2. Drop people who aren’t adding anything of interest quicker
  3. Look at a person’s last 50 posts to see if they are really worth following in the first place. That interesting post they did today? Is it indicative of what they do or do they post their pics of their cat 49/50?
  4. Reach out & get some diversity in who you follow. Don’t follow only those who conform to your own thoughts.

How do other people look at twitter?

I already feel guilty for the amount of time I spend each day looking at a screen. Part of it’s my job but then I go home and look at a screen in my free time. I don’t think it’s good, so I don’t want to add twitter time to my screen time.

I’d be happy if it shut down. I wouldn’t miss it.

Very true. I’ve been wrestling with myself if I should delete my account.
Right now, I still have my account and read semi-regularly (post even less) and I might stick around, just to have it as a channel to spread the word about things should the need arise.
There is use to be had here.
There are also lots of laughs and memes to be had. And cute puppies.

But on the other hand… man, the stupidity on display on Twitter on a daily/hourly/minute basis is truly hard to take. I’m not talking about political affiliations or opinions, those are all pretty well represented (though, of course, only one side is “officially endorsed”, but that’s not news, those platforms do not actually have the task to stay neutral).
But the sheer amount of uninformed, hateful or just downright factionally false nonsense that people spew out without any regard to anything is really, really scary. And it IMO becomes harder to filter out the useful things in-between.

Especially if you are like me and don’t block people just because you don’t agree with their take on things or they said something not-so-nice to me. I’m just not feeble enough to start living in echo chambers.

This is one of the few things I have trouble making up my mind about. Quit? Yes or no?
For now I just kinda stand at the sidelines, seeing where it goes.

I have cut down on the number of people I follow, but a use the list feature instead. So, all the local sports writers in one list, weather folks in another, tech journalists, artists, etc.

I don’t actually really read my main timeline these days.

I have a comedy account that about 10 friends follow. I tweet a joke from it 2-3 times a year and get 0-2 likes. This brings me joy.

The rest of the time I use it to get customer support when I can’t find another way.

You forgot the most important point:

  1. Never read the replies

I can’t imagine using the official Twitter clients or web page. I don’t want to see likes of people I follow, I don’t want suggested posts, I don’t want things out of chronological order, or any of the other nonsense Twitter would like to do to “boost engagement” or whatever.

I want to see a chronological list of tweets and retweets from the people I’ve chosen to follow, and that’s it.

I use third party mobile apps almost exclusively (Tweetbot is my favorite on iOS, Twitterrific is a close second).

I lose some functionality because Twitter doesn’t open everything up to third party APIs. Off the top of my head, the thing I most frequently miss out on is polls aren’t supported so if there’s something I want to vote on I still have to open the tweet in the official app.

But overall it’s worth the trade offs. Tweetbot and Twitterrific also had robust muting and filtering options before the regular Twitter client, and I’ve come to rely on those as well. Though I think Twitter has improved some in that regard.

I don’t have an account. There are about three people I read regularly related to my job. I’ll look at specific feeds when I’m after a company announcement or similar. And I do searches for a handful of specific keywords once a day.

About once a week I search for my part of London, which is annoying to do, because there’s a place in Jersey with the same name.

Other than that, I mainly see tweets when they are linked on a forum like this.

You’re missing out, Twitter is great so long as you only follow people you like and trust and never, ever, read the replies.

QFT. Twitter is as good as the people you follow, pretty much. And I’m very particular about whom I follow.

These sound wonderful. I’m going to have to try those.

QFT with the challenge being finding people you like, so you may go through a few duds, but treat it like treasure chests in a borderlands game. Some you recycle pretty quick and others you hang onto for a while.

Social media is a net loss for human communication and Twitter is all of the worst tendencies of social media distilled to their essence.

If that’s aimed at me, I’m really not. I’m just not a social media person. I don’t need a running commentary from my friends, let alone strangers. If we have something to say to each other we can do it directly. I don’t get why you’d do personal communication on a broadcast medium and vice versa. I was on Facebook for a while in the 00s and I just ended up tuning it out, even before it became obvious how shitty it was as a company. I also regret having made a LinkedIn account.

There’s some good stuff on Twitter, sure, but it gets shared elsewhere, or like I say it’s among the handful of my not-actually-followed follows.

I don’t use it for personal communication at all, I just follow people I find insightful and trustworthy.

Once you pare down your follow list and, as the good señor says, don’t read the comments Twitter is super entertaining and informative.

I mostly use Talon on Android for a decent experience.

I like Twitter as an internet filter and opinion summary. But as posted in the face-mask thread, it likely contributed to my falling for the falsehood that ‘face masks are useless garbage in your pathetic loser hands, will probably get you infected faster, and should be left for angelic, selfless nurses and doctors, you fool’.

Yeah I may be due to clean my follow list :).

Here is something that showed up on my tl today. How cool is that? And how else would havei ever seen it?

What an awesome ghost story I read today

Interesting story but there’s little about ghosts in it. It’s a true crime mystery.

So one of the facts in the story is that the young woman was pregnant but still a virgin. I guess that means her hymen was intact, but that doesn’t block semen from trickling into her womb? I need someone to tell me about the birds and the bees.