Social media is a powerful tool. It can be used to bring quality to one’s life, but if used improperly it WILL cause depression, waste your time, make you unproductive, and cost you a LOT of money.
Twitter, along with all other forms of social media are designed to be addictive and keep you scrolling for as long as possible. Companies invest millions of dollars every year to find new ways to keep you using the app, finding new ways to make sure you stay in the app longer, and finding new ways to leech money from you.
All you are shown are the highlights of people’s lives. You never see the in-between and are left with the idea that someone’s life is perfect, making yours seem slow, unproductive, or uneventful. We are constantly left comparing our normal days with the best of everyone else’s. Especially if you are keeping track of celebrities, public figures, social influencers, etc. There is nothing wrong with watching a movie, tv show, or listening to music every now and then, but you don’t need to know about the ins and outs of these creator’s lives. It adds no true value to your life and only serves to make you look at yourself and your accomplishments as a failure. Because you weren’t able to keep up with them, because you aren’t them, it has a subtle, negative impact on your mentality and many people don’t even realize it. Instead of looking to these people for motivation we look at these people and feel bad about ourselves for not being like them or as successful as them.
On the other side of the coin, social media can still be a good thing. If used properly it will actually have the opposite effect. It can motivate you, help you maintain a good mentality, and help foster better discipline. Here are a few ways that you can curate your Twitter experience to shield yourself from the bad parts of social media, while still benefiting from the good.
We will start off with your timeline. This is the first thing you see when you open you Twitter app so, let’s fix this NOW.
The first thing you will want to do is unfollow pretty much every influencer and celebrity, that doesn’t help you improve yourself. Unfollow pretty much every actor and music artist. Scroll through their timeline one more time before unfollowing them. DON’T GET SUCKED INTO THE RABBIT HOLE. Do they post anything of value? Most likely not, they are likely posting new photos of them at the beach, in the bathroom with few clothes on, in the club, at a restaurant, etc. None of this holds any value. None of this helps you improve yourself. Hit that unfollow button, if anything worth knowing about happens to these people, you will find out one way or the other, but social media does not need to be one of those ways. I have a few celebrities that I respect. their attitudes and music are things I enjoy and the ways they handle themselves are admirable, but I still don’t follow them. I simply don’t need to know what they are doing all the time.
Now, what are your goals? Find people who are willing to teach and encourage you to build towards them. Find people that will motivate you to keep a good mindset. If you struggle with self discipline, find people who tweet often about building this up. This may seem like a difficult task at first, but where you find one, you will likely find many others. There are strong communities built around self improvement, and income production that I personally follow. Here are a few of my favorites:
If you’d like to follow me, I’m @imSeanML
Next, start blocking EVERY advertiser. This includes big brands, video game ads, whatever has “Promoted” under it, block them. It may take a few blocks at first, but eventually you will rarely ever see an ad anymore. After a while, you will have saved yourself from some potential impulse buys, or from getting sucked into news or rabbit holes that don’t matter.
If you’d like to further curate your experience you can create a private list and add only the people you care to hear from. This way, you can follow certain people, but rarely see anything from them. On pc, you will see on the sidebar that there is a “Lists” tab. Click this and create your own list, you can make it public or keep it private so only you have access to it. Same goes for mobile. To find it, click your profile image in the top left corner, then you will find the Lists tab there.
Finally, start blocking everyone who doesn’t support you, lift you up, or encourage you. It’s not worth your time to deal with these people and it isn’t worth the emotional impact it will inevitably have. Unless of course you thrive off these people, in which case, let them hate, but don’t interact with them.
Next, we’ll work on your trending tab. On computer browsers this is a lot more prominent as it’s on your homepage, but it’s still important for phones. We need to adjust our trends to feature less click bait tags. I wish you could remove this tab entirely, but because you can’t we are going to be forced to change the location from which we pull trending tags.
To do this on a computer, you will go to the far right side of the home page where it says “Trends”. From there you will click the gear icon and change your country. This will not change your location on your profile, all this will do is tell Twitter where you want to pull the most popular tags from.
On mobile, click the search icon at the bottom of the screen, and then click the gear in the top right. From there you can change the location.
I selected Bahrain. I don’t know the language and there are very few trending posts from here. After switching to Bahrain, I came to realize that most of the trends that occurred meant nothing to me, as they were all in Arabic and I had no clue what they said. What really made me happy though, was that the trending section is empty fairly often.
Putting these into action helped me a lot, I no longer spend long periods of time scrolling through useless things on my timeline. After changing my location for trends, I found that I was no longer involved in random, useless tweet storms, and I hear very little about petty political infighting, and things that simply hold little value. It’s cleaned up with little to no distractions, I’m able to use Twitter intentionally without getting distracted. You’re likely here because you want to accomplish a similar thing. Doing this helped me tremendously and I hope it does the same for you.
Live Intentionally: A 90 day Self-Project
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