When it comes to Twitter, things can get out of hand fast. Setting aside the hostile environment some people face when they participate in Twitter (which is setting aside a doozy!), it helps to have a few defense mechanism for what is appearing in your stream.
Most importantly, I evaluate each potential follow by the rule of “smart and happy”. Which doesn’t mean smart, angry people are automatically off the list. But, they have to show a really unique intelligence to get past my emotional filter. I made a graphic to boil down my “should follow?” decision:
Non-brilliant and happy? Probably in! Brilliant and happy? Probably in! Smart with a little bit of edge? Maybe. Just angry? No thanks.
Information overload, confirmation bias, and overwhelming negativity are also handy things to manage. I do a few things to keep my head above water and a not-too-dismal outlook on life:
- Don’t worry about keeping up. It’s impossible. That’s OK!
- When I have stuff that needs doing, shut it down. The tweets will go on without me.
- Follow people with a perspective different from your own.
- Keep a private list for high signal-to-noise follows. Good friends and people whose ideas I don’t want to miss end up here.
- But follow a lot more people as a firehose of interesting and diverse voices.
- When on vacation: don’t even care about Twitter. Disconnect as much as possible.
I hope one of these ideas can help you Twitter better!