When I came back to Twitter this time around, I decided to stop being so stingy and just fave and retweet whatever strikes my fancy. I don’t know why I’m like this. Perhaps because I remember the earliest days of Twitter when we couldn’t do either. You couldn’t even talk to people then, not directly, not with an @. And in those earliest days of Twitter, I was the only one of my friends there. My timeline was just me. But that’s not true anymore.
I’ve been using the official Twitter app because I’ve been trying to use stock apps when available. The one thing I don’t like is the ads. This week, I started blocking every promoted tweet that shows up in my timeline. It’s made for an interesting look at the variety of brands that pay for tweets. After nearly 11 years on Twitter, you’d think they’d have a better idea of what kinds of things I want to see.
When I came back to Twitter this time around, I also decided to follow a whole bunch of people. For the longest time, I had kept my followers below 50, mostly people I actually know, have actually met, friends of friends, or writers I really love. But that low number meant I also had a quiet timeline, and sometimes in those quiet moments, I’d go searching random timelines just for something else to read. It’s a bad habit that has trapped me many times before. So I just followed everyone who seemed interesting.
But now that it’s been a month of being back on Twitter full-time (and I regretfully do mean full-time), I’m unfollowing again without prejudice. Everyone uses Twitter differently, and that’s OK. The promise of the internet, 20 years ago, was that we get to make it what we want. 20 years later, I’m still figuring it out, but I have a better idea of what I’m looking for.