As far as social media applications go, Twitter is one that is portrayed as one of the largest. It’s a great outlet for celebrities, political members and the average joe. You’ll often see news stories built entirely from a tweet. For most users, tweets are public and as such have a high capacity to go viral, be seen by millions and go beyond the platform. Twitter is essentially the cocktail party full of random guests while Facebook is generally a party where you know, or knew, 90% of the people there – the other 10% being ring-ins.
The issue with a cocktail party is you may know one person, you may know many. You might have something in common with a few or a majority, it’s a gamble, it’s diverse and it can get noisy. For many users who have been using Twitter for some time now, it’s noisy and you’re either using it less or considering leaving it entirely.
Looking at the reality of Twitter, it sits so low on the global social media rankings, you have to wonder why the media care about what is “trending” among this relatively small group of people. You’re opening the app and walking into the cocktail party, you’ve got an idea of the people in the room but who they bring in via a retweet or a heart is in their hands… or is it? There is a certain sway, or a certain culture on Twitter where a political leaning or a social opinion can be perceived as one sided. For so many people Twitter has become a rage machine where they’ll spend their days venting random thoughts which you generally wouldn’t ramble off in real life. At times you have to wonder what compels someone to waste so much time and energy into their garbage tweets, but it is what it is, you’re following them afterall!
We’ve been looking at ways to take some of the noise out of Twitter and bring back some value and happiness to using the platform. Here are a few ways to be happier the next time you think about opening that Twitter app.
It sounds obvious but the first step is to audit your current list of people you follow. Go to your profile, select Following, and second guess all of them. Sometimes I will look at their previous five tweets, if the majority are negatively swayed, it’s off to the cleaners. Why do you want to read someone be negative online about meaningless dribble all day? Good bye.
Reduce the numbers and things are already quieter.
Turn off Retweets
There are some people you’ll follow who are great and you respect them. However, they have a habit or retweeting others who you may not want to see their messages. Sometimes they’ll retweet a person you’ve unfollowed and you’re annoyed to see them back in your feed. Go to that person’s profile and Turn off Retweets. It is a person by person basis but it immediately helps.
For many, blocking someone is reserved for an outcome of abuse or hostility. Personally, blocking someone assures me that they won’t get back into my cocktail party via a retweet or directly, nor will they even be able to see my tweets or know how good my cocktail party is. They’re gone. Someone may ask why you blocked them (in the real world) and it need not be an awkward occasion, just tell them that on Twitter they’re batshit crazy and that version of them ruins your Twitter time on the toilet.
We’ve all got people we might work with or spend time with via association. We follow them because you felt like you should, they followed you and mentioned you weren’t following them etc. But as much as you enjoy knowing them, their thoughts expressed on Twitter is tiring, annoying, embarrasing or something else. Unfollowing or Blocking would only cause you trouble, so mute them. This is an awesome way to never see their tweets but if they reply to you, you’ll be able to engage and they’ll never know they’re been silenced.
This is a handy feature you’ll find in the settings. Are you Monday nights ruined with #QandA appearing in your feed and a crazy opinion hoping to be seen on TV spoils your experience? Add #QandA to your muted words list. It doesn’t need to be hashtags either, you can add something as simple as “Trump” or “vegan”, and that’s it, any tweet containing that word wont be seen in your feed again.
This may just be the icing on the cake now that your user feed is improved. If you’re finding the ads in your feed frustrate you because they’re simply irrelevant, take a look at your Twitter data. This is what Twitter thinks they know about you and the profile they’ve built on your interests, so advertisers can reach you. Go into your settings, Your Twitter data, Inferred Interests. You can remove as you like to ensure that as a dude, you don’t get ads for tampons, unless you want them.
Like a real cocktail party, don’t be a dick.
My response to tweets lately in my feed pic.twitter.com/G9bGHvVnhH
— Geoff Quattromani (@GQuattromani) October 8, 2018
Living in Sydney his entire life, Geoff has always had a close eye on technology. Through school and immediately after, tech held his focus. Attending University later in life, Geoff began his IT career immediately after leaving high school and has been in the industry ever since. In his spare time he launched a YouTube channel focused on consumer tech that had millions of views. This led to work on community radio talking tech every week and has now stepped him into the studios of 2GB / 4BC every Saturday helping people with tech problems and reviewing the latest gadgets.
When Geoff is looking away from the screen he can be found holding a glass of red wine, spending time with friends and/or watching the Formula 1.