Yesterday was one of those days that I was super duper disappointed in Twitter. Generally I don’t deal with a whole lot of trolling on the internet. Maybe that is just the long tail of statistical averages catching up with me. That is entirely possible. Maybe somebody was just having a bad day and I ended up having the tweet that caught all that emotion. It did not really emotionally impact me as much as it did surprise me that so many other people engage in the drama. Maybe that is the essence of Twitter and I just don’t see it very often. Most of my engagement is with technology, machine learning, or academic Twitter communities. Not only was it a strange day on Twitter, but it was also my 14th year anniversary on the platform. Apparently, I have been sending out tweets for a really long time.
For the most part tweets are functionally ephemeral; they occur and then fade away from attention. Sure somebody could really dig to go and find an old one, but practically they just fade away from the feed and that is that. I’m not entirely sure that I get anything from the 10-20 daily minutes I spend on Twitter. Maybe that time should be noted as entertainment time and it should be managed as such. My take on Twitter overall is that it happens to be an ephemeral platform. People will crowd to it as a source of first news given the overall reach and opportunity for people to actively report news. The barrier to entry on being able to report news is very low. Given the current state of local news coverage nationwide it is not entirely surprising that crowdsourcing news is a staple of modern coverage. That aspect of things will probably keep crowds of people flocking to the application to tweet and check tweets. To that end, unless some other platform shows up for people to report and share current events I imagine that Twitter will continue on in this current form for a while.
It might be easier to just fip my Twitter profile over to private mode, but that would diminish engagement. Most of the time my engagements with others are positive. Overall I have been running my phone in the do not disturb mode for months now. People who are on my contacts list can call and break into my day. Otherwise it functionally shuts down all notifications, sounds, pings, or other indicators that some application wants my attention. In terms of getting deep work done and being more productive it has worked out really well. At one point, I had even considered getting one of those new flip type folding phones to really make it harder to activate the screen and engage. I might end up going an entirely different direction and getting one of the phones that sort of folds open and becomes a small tablet. That seems like a pretty decent use case for reading things. The price on those types of devices will probably be trending downward shortly as they have been on the market for a couple technology generations.