Returning to Twitter

Two months ago I returned to Twitter.

After logging into the account through a web browser I was mildly amused. The mobile app was then downloaded to a new late-model mobile device.

The first couple weeks I explored a lot of the Twitter feeds. Shared work-related tweets. Kept it professional. Nothing too personal. But mostly, I searched for friends I once communicated with on a daily basis. They seemed to have disappeared from Twitter. Or maybe I missed them amid the ceaseless flood of poising, posturing, and promotional tweets.

A comment from a kidlinger ceased this activity. The level of profanity used on Twitter is obscene. I had tuned it out, but young eyes saw a string of vulgarities. Kidlinger asked who said that. I did not say. They knew the person. And that individual would never speak like that in front of my children.

Then the pandemic hit. And the tsunami of Covid-19 tweets and updates was both helpful and harmful. But ultimately overwhelming.

Sometime during the past weekend I discovered Twitter’s new preference features and was turning some on and others off to see how the feed was impacted. Late Saturday night, before I went to bed, I checked the Twitter on the mobile device. I was shocked to see someone posted or shared some extremely graphic adult material. It should not have surprised me. Too tired to figure which preferences I needed to reset, I deleted the app from my mobile device.

Before the weekend was over I considered unfollowing everyone I followed on Twitter. Or deleting my Twitter account entirely. My argument was this. With all I have to manage in between work and home, removing Twitter would be one less thing I have to deal with.

My return to Twitter was an attempt to emerge from a self-imposed social media quarantine. To reconnect with old friends and acquaintances. But the debauchery and viciousness I observed on Twitter causes me to wonder. If people are essentially good, than the evidence on Twitter points to the contrary.

I plan to cull those I follow. Half have already been unfollowed. My goal is to cut the list down to 40. It is possible that I have not given Twitter enough time to prove that there are good, virtuous, and honorable people using the social media platform.

The hope was to engage with people on Twitter who enhanced and elevated the lives of those around them. Something inspiring. Something like Andrea Bocelli’s Music of Hope.

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