Last night I decided to start tweeting again.
While I never really left Twitter completely, I largely took a break from it for the last 8 months. Last year I started being much more conscious of how I use technology and as part of that, unfollowed nearly everyone and stopped actively engaging with people on the platform. Having the distance gave me the space to think about if and how I might start using it again. So of course I made a list of rules for myself.
- Don’t open Twitter because you’re bored. As far as I’m concerned, the same goes for any social media app (or any other app) you open when you’re bored.
- Don’t keep Twitter open in a browser tab. This is like keeping Twitter on the home screen of your phone.
- Use Tweetbot on your iPhone and don’t place it on the home screen. Tweetbot is the best designed Twitter app you will find (for iOS), it has a chronological feed and is a pleasure to use.
- Tweet with positive purpose. Pretty self-explanatory. Don’t be a dick.
- Don’t overthink your tweets. Twitter was and is, at least to me, a platform well-suited for ephemera. I use TweetDelete.net to automatically delete my tweets after several days. I’ve seen tweets become a liability. True intent loses to perceived intent. No Thanks.
- Be open. Be Accessible. Leave your DMs open and respond to people, unless it’s the stalker salesperson that already emailed me and hit me up on LinkedIn.
- Don’t retweet often and never retweet without your own perspective or context. It’s easy to retweet and that’s by design. Use it sparingly. Use your own voice.
- Don’t follow a lot of people, especially people that retweet more than they tweet. Caveat: if someone is both interesting and is a habitual retweeter, turn off their retweets. I currently follow 137 people. That’s quite a few people and I should probably follow even fewer.
- Don’t follow people that talk a lot about themselves, news or politics. The exception here is when big, important news events are happening. I don’t need daily commentary on the news. I will go to trusted news publications for that if and when I want it.
- Use lists for people, topics or industries that you might want to read sometimes, but don’t want to show up in your main feed. The List feature is such a wonderful and under-utilized feature (because it’s hidden). Most of my lists are private, but I have many.
Special thanks to Patrick for a good, early morning exchange about Twitter in the Sonos office this morning. It helped me get more clear about some of my rules.