Weeknotes 2022/5 - Twitter and Too Much Politics
Against my better judgement I feel like I need to say something about the politics of today. Of all the actually important things like the looming war in Ukraine and the horrific human rights violations in China, the bonkers media makes it seem that silencing comedians will somehow make everything better. News flash; silencing anyone won’t make anything better, just worse.
We absolutely need to get over of the mentality that offending opinions are bad. Offending opinions are opinions and offending ideas should be argued with better ideas. I’m overwhelmed about the seemingly bottomless stupidity of people who feel that they have right not to be offended. No one has that right. What we do have (atleast mostly, in western societies) is a free society that allows us to debate things and express ourselves. So let’s do just that instead of giving up to the temptation to cancel everything we don’t agree or understand.
How to make your Twitter experience 100% better
Knowing that Twitter’s business model is to make me mad to engage as much as possible, I try to minimize all the kinds of content that distracts too much. This includes annoying game memes (hello Worldle), politics that annoy me (like covid/vaxx talk), and all kinds of non-relevant-for-me content (like NBA, NFL sports etc).
Here’s my current Twitter weeding workflow:
- Whenever I see something irrelevant from the people I follow, I make a mental note about it. If I see that kind of content again, I’ll add a one or more block words.
- Whenever I see something irrelevant or annoying from the Twitter algorithm, I’ll report it using the “This tweet is not relevant” or “Show less” functionality. I have no idea if it actually helps, but if the tools are there why not use them.
- When I follow new people, I usually turn off retweets from them. I mostly want to use the person for their content.
- I try to keep my Twitter feed as focused on what I’m actually interested in. For me Twitter is a great place to keep in touch and follow the discussions around Web, and related technologies. If someone I follow starts to have poor signal/noise ratio, I just unfollow or mute them with a pretty low bar. It’s nothing personal agains anyone, but instead me being mindful of my mental health.
- I also try to follow positive, light, and funny accounts. My personal favorites at the moment: Goodable, neural net guesses memes, translated cats, Fail Army, and People Selling Mirrors
What I don’t do:
- I very seldomly block anyone. I have hard time of coming up with situations where it would be beneficial for me to block someone totally outside of a clear abuse situation.
- I never respond to clear trolling or any arguments from people who seem like they are more likely looking for fight instead of discourse. Usually this means not answering to 90% percent of responses that are negative. Personally I find this sad as I think genuine discussion is agood thing but Twitter just usually isn’t the place for it.
- I never say anything on Twitter I wouldn’t say out loud on a public place or face to face to someone. I try to be polite, even when ranting. (I also try not to rant but sometimes it’s just good to rant!)
These small things, especially the content filtering, has made my personal Twitter experiance at least 100% better of what it used to be. YMMV.