Twitter is a strange place. I’ve found it useful in finding guests for the Naked Diner. It’s also, well, a freak show. It’s more than that. Twitter is a freak show being run by a mob. And I’m not talking about the powers that be who own Twitter. Anyone who has spent any time on that platform understands vast herds of trolls congregate and descend on the unsuspecting. They are the ones who really own Twitter.
Jack Vance over at the blog Atheist Revolution is trying to limit the amount of political outrage he’s exposed to on Twitter. I stumbled on his post Progress Report on Reducing the Political Outrage on Twitter, and thought I’d share some of it with you here.
The first step in my strategy involved muting outrage-related keywords and hashtags. This was very effective; however, it quickly became clear that more would need to be added. The sources of outrage change quickly, and keeping up with them can be a chore. Fortunately, I found that by focusing only on those I found most annoying was rather easy and made enough of a difference that I didn’t need to worry about muting every one of them.
Sounds like good advice. Me? I don’t spend enough time on Twitter to be overwhelmed by hashtaging flying monkeys. More or less stick to my Twitter lists (Comedians, Prominent Atheists, etc) to see what’s going on.
Should I mention I have Jordan Peterson on my Comedians Twitter list? That guy spouts so much absurdity he earned his spot right next to Carrot Top.
But I digress.
My second step involved unfollowing the worst outrage peddlers (i.e., those who seem to use Twitter primarily for sharing political outrage, name-calling, etc.). My previous post seriously underestimated how many of these people there are and how many of them I was following. I wasn’t prepared for how many of these people I’d need to unfollow. I’m sure it did not help that I continued to follow new people during this time, some of whom turned out to be these people.
Oh, he’s singing my song. I’ve unfollowed people who aren’t worth my Twitter time. I’m surprised that wasn’t his #1 move.
You should check out the rest of the article if you’re looking for some tweet-based peace!
Andrew Hall is the author of Laughing in Disbelief. Besides writing a blog, co-hosting the Naked Diner, he wrote two books, Vampires, Lovers, and Other Strangers and God’s Diary: January 2017 Andrew is reading through the Bible and making videos about his journey on YouTube. He is a talented stand-up comedian. You can find him on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.