How I Use Twitter – Beyond the surface
In part one of this article, I explained how my journey started with a series of unfollowing and then some deliberate following. In case you missed that, you should read it here.
It is not enough to follow. I also needed to know what I am looking from this people. Just as everything that I might talk about may not interest you, so will everything not interest me about a person. Beyond that, I was clear about how I will prioritize different information.
This is where I talk about all those.
Threads above Tweet
There are two kinds of thread on Twitter. You may not know.
- Obvious threads that are woven together. This for example.
- Threads like comments. This category is none obvious and you need to be a very curious person to unlock its power. In my opinion, it’s one of the treasure troves of Twitter.
Threads are like short articles. Except they being in a thread made them very easy to read on Twitter. That’s compared to having to click on a link that will take you out of Twitter. What I discovered was that people use thread to share their thoughts on a deeper level than a single tweet would do. Sometimes, those thoughts are spontaneous which in my opinion adds more ice on the cake.
So I learn more from reading threads than from scrolling through tweets. Many times, I equate reading threads to reading for that day. And yes, that’s what it is. I spend hours going through some threads and they’ve been incredibly helpful.
Now the second type of threads.
A lot of people don’t do this, but when you stumble on this kind of thread, you might just have discovered the most valuable curation of resources on the internet. It’s best explained with an example:
Whenever questions like this are asked, the world gathers under such a thread to comment on the best of resources that are available out there. Utilizing threads like this have helped me to reduce the ratio of noise to signal whenever I’m reading. I always know that this is the best on this topic that I could find on the internet. I know this because I’ve contributed to some of the threads as well with the absolute best of what I have found on a topic.
You see, it’s all about being deliberate for me. Although I am still experimenting, I believe I’m yet to fully explore the ramifications of Twitter as I seek to create value.
Another example that is relevant here is what Dr Joe Abah is doing with #NaijaKnowledgeX. The thread is now a source of research for me on any topic that might have been raised.
Look for resource trove like that and keep it forever.
How I digest tweets
240 characters are more powerful than you may think. However, If you don’t think about it or read it in context, you may not understand.
To start with, remember I have my timeline well-curated. So relatively, I know what topic will show up on my timeline. This allows me to either get the idea of the tweet quickly or spark my curiosity as to why I don’t know something that I should know. In the latter case, I’d have to go down some rabbit hole to understand what they tweet is trying to say. The rabbit hole, by the way, starts with comments under the tweet where those who understand the tweet tend to share their understanding of what it is saying.
Sometimes, the comment is not sufficient. In such a case I will pick keywords from the tweet and do a google search for more resources to understand what I don’t get.
Some other times, I check their bio to see if they have a website that I can check to understand their background and how they think. And oftentimes, those that have a website may have picked their thoughts from an article on the site which solves the problem. I think my strength as you would have noticed is that I am never tired or bored of reading. Knowledge is always my priority.
Comment for context and understanding
There have been uncountable occasions when some would say something and I wouldn’t understand it. Here’s what I know, I’m not the only one that won’t understand. Secondly, more often than not, someone else would have attempted to explain the tweet either by retracing or even liking an article that explains it in the comment section.
I don’t just pass by if I’m curious. I click on the tweet to peruse the comment section for understanding. Often, I end up bookmarking the comment and not the tweet if it’s worth it.
You think it’s the person that said something that can teach you, well, it’s not always so.
Learn to explore the comment.
Mind My Business
Twitter is full of different drama. I hate chaos and that is freely distributed on Twitter daily. I stay away from it by not getting involved in any chaotic conversations. Especially when it’s on a topic where people have their identity tied to it. Topics like religion, politics, feminism, morals and basic dos and don’ts that requires a strong opinion.
I won’t comment on them or like them not to talk of RT.
I believe I don’t need to get involved in those conversations before I achieve my aim on Twitter. I am right. I simply mind my business and if I must engage in a conversation, I don’t criticize.
If I have a critical comment to make, I imagine how some of my tweets are basically just about me learning something new exploring an idea. So many times I excuse things. Beyond that though, who likes to be criticized in public? I just simply don’t want to add to that kind of conversation.
Occasions occur that I break that though. But that’s my principle on that. Lastly, join this:
That’s it in summary so far
You see, my life creed is that “if we can commit ourselves to reading and this increasing knowledge, only God can limit how far we can go in life.”
I’ve believed that statement since 2014 when I first stumbled on it and about 7 years down the line, I can tell you I am a living testimony of that. So when I came on Twitter, what I was just looking for is a new way to manifest my belive. of course, I had fun between all this. However, like Marcus Aurelius said in meditation:
“I have to go to work — as a human being. What do I have to complain of, if I’m going to do what I was born for — the things I was brought into the world to do? Or is this what I was created for? To huddle under the blankets and stay warm? So you were born to feel “nice”?
Instead of doing things and experiencing them? Don’t you see the plants, the birds, the ants and spiders and bees going about their individual tasks, putting the world in order, as best they can?
And you’re not willing to do your job as a human being? Why aren’t you running to do what your nature demands? You don’t love yourself enough. Or you’d love your nature too, and what it demands of you.”