An isolated twitter account keeps out the nonsense, and focuses on the issues that matter to those you follow.
For anyone, it can be easy to see your Twitter feed get out of control. You’re getting sucked in by thread after thread after thread bouncing around topics. You follow friends, news sources, politicians, celebrities, artists, creators, comedians, companies, family members, and communities, and all are being blended together like a hellish frozen sangria. In typical frozen sangria fashion, Twitter can leave us devastated as it sucks us in, make time move faster, and wipe us out. This isn’t what we want to get out of our social media experience. We lose our sense of self with Twitter’s daily calamity, and we face social media burnout. We can avoid this burnout by treating twitter like the tool it is. The first step is to unfollow everyone you don’t know personally.
Congrats, you have now created your first Twitter tool. The people you used to know, people you still interact with, and people you kinda have a crush on – they live here now. This is the easygoing Twitter account where you can see your pals’ half-baked jokes, and you follow that one funny person from high school who live-tweets every episode of The Bachelor franchise. More importantly, you learn more about who your friends are. Without celebrities, news, or other content dividing your friendly content, you can grow closer to your friends, learning about what the important things in their lives are. You have an opportunity to feel closer to the people who have mutually decided to be in your life. It re-personalizes these people, making them feel more tangible.
Hey, wait a minute… I really like following <insert name here> on Twitter
Don’t forget those people you unfollowed. Write them down and pay attention to who they were. Separate them into categories. These categories probably represent some interests of yours. Art, video games, podcasts, movies, music. Make a new email address, then make a twitter for each interest you have. Splitting your interests like this helps you in a couple of different ways. The first is that you begin to introspect and take control of your personality. You can explore each interest of yours in detail, and you learn more about each topic in isolation. It’s also important to learn which interests matter the most to you.
When you spend more time on one of these accounts than any of the others, it’s a good indication that you have strong emotions attached to a specific interest. Feeling strongly about an interest and focusing on it makes you more informed on that interest than if it came up in passing on a mega Twitter account. You get to better engage with others about your interests because you develop a solid foundational understanding of the subject matter through a focused environment. If you’re not sure if a potential follow belongs in one interest versus another, just follow it with both interest accounts! Rules schmules!
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Secondly, you feel less pressure with a separate account. When you eliminate pressure factors like maintenance of a “following” to “followers” ratio, you are freed to actually explore Twitter. If you follow an artist who retweeted a piece that inspires you, nothing stands in your way if you want to follow the new artist. You don’t have to pick and choose which people are “worth” following. You can also retweet things without pressure, using your own feed in a Pinterest fashion. Twitter lets you save everything directly from the source and has a now-focused and straight-from-the-source atmosphere that can keep you up to date on each of your interests and introduce you to brand new voices if you allow yourself to be free from its pressures.
After you’ve explored your interests, make just one more critically important account.
When you’ve finished making accounts for each of your broad interests, make one more for self-betterment. Follow accounts you wouldn’t typically follow with a mega Twitter account. Fill it to the brim with the people who don’t look like you, people who don’t think like you, and people who fight to make stifled voices heard. This instruction goes two-fold if you are white and male, like me. It’s easy to fall into a pattern of comfort. We go through phases where we want to follow new content built by diverse crowds, spreading our wings briefly, but our feeds still speak mostly to our own experiences.
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You can create a place where you branch out on Twitter, and diversity becomes less phase-like and more of a reality. So many times, we’ll come across a work that makes us wonder, have they ever even met a woman? Or a Black person? The more privilege you have, the easier it is to ignore the experiences of others, and it will carry through to your beliefs, your work, and your art. Do yourself a favor: Do your best to treat different experiences with the respect and attentiveness they deserve. You’ll notice yourself becoming a better person.
If you’re happy with the way you Twitter, by all means, continue. You might not fall into the trap of perpetuating your own experience in your head. You might be able to easily focus your interests, and you might be a well-balanced person. But if you feel like Twitter stresses you out, and if you get very little after hours of scrolling, you should make supplementary, focused Twitter accounts. You’ll have room to grow and you’ll feel more relaxed and purposeful while using the platform.
Have fun tweeting. exploring and growing!
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