Ryan Rodenbaugh's personal site

How i use twitter

When used with intent, Twitter can be one of the best learning and growth tools on the internet. I had a semi-pseudonymous Twitter in middle school (~2008) that I mostly used to follow friends, shit post, and make jokes. I deleted that one when I went to college and started over with my current account @RyanRodenbaugh. When I started following people, I followed aspirational peers rather than only people I knew IRL.

If I were remaking my Twitter today, I would begin by following active Tweeters in field(s) interesting to me. In my case, this would be:

Odds are that from here, these people will retweet or interact with other people who have interesting views, who you’ve heard of and want to follow, or Twitter will make good suggestions (as they often do) based on who you follow.

Starting by following 20-100 people you already know to be interesting and growing from there is probably the best way to have a well-filtered feed.

**Some tips:**


You should also liberally use the **mute words feature**. People you like will have opinions on topics you are really uninterested in. For example, there are a lot of people in tech who, for every 3 interesting tweets about company building have a very uninteresting opinion about politics. You can filter these uninteresting Tweets on mobile by going to Settings —> Content Preferences —> Muted —> Muted Words. Here, you can mute words so that they won’t appear in your timeline. For example, I’ve muted words like “AOC”, “Facebook”, “Mueller”, “AR-15”. So now, if people I like want to talk about the Mueller hearings or get angry about AOC’s new proposal, that’s fine, but I don’t have to read their tweet about it. This is your information diet and you should be able to edit it however you like. You should be unapologetic about the content you don’t want to interact with.

**The Favorites (Likes) Button**

One of my favorite things about Twitter is how favoriting works. When you’re scrolling your timeline, you can interact with Tweets by replying, retweeting, or favoriting. I use the favorite button not as a way to show approval, but as a “save for later”. As far as I know, Twitter is the only social network that makes it easy to view your favorites. I can easily go to my homepage and see all of my “likes”. Every few days or so I will go scroll through my likes and either:

**An example of each from my actual likes right now:**


For a while, the regret I had with using Twitter was that I would be reading a lot of great content and advice, but it would be fleeting. For every 100 tweets I read, maybe I would remember 1.

**How I Use Other Social Networks**

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First published on December 24, 2019