Twitter social contract in 2020

As I get older, I am starting to value other things besides technology and outside iOS. Moreover, I prefer, and consciously want, to spend less time using Twitter. In parallel and in a a selfish way, I want to extract as much knowledge as possible from it while there. Besides time wasting, certain accounts have provided me a level of anxiety that has reduced my quality of life. Let me clear that this anxiety, or overall FOMO, is inflicted by me onto myself, and not because people have a secret agenda against me.

In simple terms it means increasing the signal-to-noise ratio.

How does one achieve so?

Throughout most of December, I unfollowed close to 250 accounts (~75%). Some of those belong to people I respect and in a few cases friends in real life. The situation, is that most of them I either:

  1. Already have a close connection elsewhere: Real life, Strava, Instagram, Messenger.
  2. There was little reason to keep a connection, since, as years go by, we have diverged in interests.
  3. There was mostly noise.

This is the criteria I used while unfollowing accounts:

  1. If the content is causing me anxiety.
  2. If the content is mainly politics. I like to keep tabs on politics outside Twitter. Most discussions (original tweet + thread) is an echo chamber that I rather avoid.
  3. If the person hasn't tweeted in the last 1 - 2 months. Or if they are not active.
  4. If I already have a strong bond with the person elsewhere (Twitter DM included).
  5. If the last 10 tweets are not related to anything I value or can learn from.

Most accounts fell on the last point. Although I do value people's opinion in a multitude of subjects, if most of what they tweet is what about their day-to-day, I would rather use something like Instagram. In fact, I don't follow most of my ex-working colleagues with whom I like to think I have healthy bonds. Nevertheless those bonds are kept and maintained in other platforms that are tailored for that purpose.

I also limited myself to following only 100 accounts. I am sure I could find ten times this amount of accounts that are of interest to me, but I want to reduce the time spent on Twitter. Having a hard cap means I have to pick what/who to follow more carefully.

Going forward, I will apply some of these rules to myself:

  1. Less shit posting.
  2. Less "day-to-today" tweets.
  3. Less things related to iOS exclusively.

I am sure some people will unfollow me as a riposte. I do feel that if unfollowing me will improve your life, I encourage you to do so. ❤️


The biggest mistake I have made with Twitter, as a platform, was to treat it like Facebook. You wouldn't unfriend a member of your family right? For me, keeping a connection has become an unwritten and unsigned social contract that brings no value to either party in some cases.  A courtesy, or act of politeness if you will. What I found, is that these relationships are hollow and can be supersede by more meaningful forms of connection elsewhere.

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