Twitter... bring on the chaos. Or not.

Full article

Edit: I've started experimenting with running scripts on AWS Lambda, including one that cleans your Twitter timeline daily, and another that tweets random posts from a Ghost blog (or an RSS feed). Check them out!

Everything that's happened with Facebook recently (the culmination of a slow-motion, decade-long train wreck) has me thinking a lot about social media in general - and the social media I use most, Twitter. I'm asking myself questions like, what value does it bring me, and what are the hidden cost? Do the benefits outweigh those costs?

I joined Facebook so I could stay in touch with friends, but ultimately it wasn't worth it. I joined Twitter so I could stay up-to-date on news in my industry, but is it worth it? Sometimes I want to just dangle my toes into a light stream and catch a few fish, and an hour later I realize I'm empty-handed and got washed away in the undertow. Again.

For every jewel I find on Twitter's shores...

... I have to wade through tons of distractions and sometimes flatout garbage. Twitter encourages it, even recently starting to "notify" me when someone I follow "likes" something. Why would I care? Tossing it in my feed isn't enough?

Every nice stroll through my feed...

... turns up some thread where everyone's accusing each other of not being "woke" enough, and hey how is <insert some travesty> still an issue in 2018?!!?! I mean, it's 2018 people!

I post some thoughts and use a few tags...

... and suddenly 10 accounts that post robo-links all day follow me, begging for attention like someone shouting "look at me!" to everyone in a crowded room. Then they unfollow the next day.

I just want to share a few useful things and have a few useful things shared with me...

... but some people have made it their business to output heaps and heaps of crap at a rate of hundreds of tweets a day, hungry for attention and followers.

I avoid it all for a few days and head back in feeling like I'm walking through a fresh field of updates again...

... and within two hours get annoyed by all the same stuff.

I feel like I walked into a shop looking for candy...

... and I leave with a bag of brussels sprouts. But sometimes there's a jellybean at the bottom of the bag, so I come back. 15 times a day. I really really like jellybeans.

None of this should be a shock I guess. We all know social media leads to a steady stream of dopamine hits, and we'll suffer nearly anything for the next hit. We're turning into social media junkies.

It's a real time sucker, pulling me away from doing other more meaningful, less ephemeral things. I think I need a break. I set my notification settings to let me know if someone tries to hit me up directly, but other than that I'm gonna stay logged off for awhile and see if I actually miss it.


Grant Winney

I write when I've got something to share - a personal project, a solution to a difficult problem, or just an idea. We learn by doing and sharing. We've all got something to contribute.

Comments / Reactions