Preface: In his latest newsletter Paolo asked about Twitter. Instead of hitting reply, I thought I use this chance to post something on my blog again. (Paolo’s Newsletter is very good, btw. It is brief and to the point and comes out once a week.)
One important preface: I use Twitterific as my Twitter client. It gives me a chronological timeline. Also: no ads or tweets, that I don’t want to see – only people I follow. (I probably would have deleted my account a long time ago without it.)
I use Twitter daily to find interesting links (articles/blog posts to read, videos to watch, podcasts to listen to, etc.) and also to keep up with friends.
I open it once in the morning and once in the afternoon, that’s it. I read all the tweets, clearing my timeline.
Notifications are turned off.
I curate the list of who I follow very carefully. I only subscribe to accounts that post stuff that really interests me. I’ll be fast to hit unsubscribe, if they start post uninteresting stuff and also if they post too often. The latter is also a criteria I use to decide if I want to subscribe in the first place.
That being said: In some rare instances I want to stay subscribed, event though an account is not that intereseting. For these cases Twitterific offers a great feature called Muffling. Tweets from a muffled account are displayed collapsed, so you can see that a person has tweeted but not the content. Only if you tap on it, will the content become visible. I use this to have a cleaner timeline. (Not to be confused with muting, which will hide the tweets of an account completely.)
Language is also an interesting aspect. I only follow a couple of people that post stuff in languages I don’t understand. For that, Twitterific has a built-in translation function. (BTW: The automatic translation from Finnish to English is hilarious and most of the time the meaning stays hidden, but at least, I get a good laugh out of it.)
I very rarely tweet anything myself. I mainly post links to (photo) blog posts or retweet the most interesting tweets.
With this setup, I think, I found a healthy way to use Twitter, getting mostly positive stuff out of it, and constantly weeding out anything negative or uninteresting. By only checking it deliberately twice a day, I also limit the time I spend on it.
I am damndirty on Twitter.