Here’s a quick post on how I’m using Twitter these days. If you’re in academia or journalism and feel the pressure to be active on the platform but hate what it does to your time management and your mood or attitude throughout the day, hopefully this can be helpful.
There are three third-party services I use to make this way of using Twitter possible.
First, TweetDelete is a free service that will delete your tweets on a regular schedule. I’ve been deleting tweets for awhile now. My reasoning is basically the same as Liz Bruenig’s. Obviously now that my Twitter is unmonitored, deleting tweets is less of a concern. But I’m still keeping my weekly deletion active via TweetDelete.
Second, Freedom is a web service that allows you to block access to websites while their software is running on your computer or phone. I only use it on my computer because I’ve never had social media apps on my phone anyway so I’ve not had a need for it there. But if you want to lock yourself out on your phone as well, you can. I now have Freedom running 24/7 on my laptop so I am always blocked from accessing Twitter, along with most other social media sites. I have Facebook set to still be accessible because I spend very little time on it anyway, it’s locked down so that only friends can view anything I post, and because the free version of Buffer only lets me auto post to two social accounts, and I want to have my personal Twitter and Mere O Twitter on Buffer. So I post manually to the Mere O Facebook page as well, which is another reason to keep Facebook accessible for me.
Third, Buffer is a social media posting tool that allows you to install an extension on your browser and then, when you want to share something, all you need to do is have the thing you want to share open in your browser and click the extension button. Then that item gets added to your Buffer schedule and will get shared out later. NOTE: If you’re concerned, like Brad, about only using Twitter for self-promotion, well, there’s no reason you can’t share other things you’re reading via Buffer. I mostly share articles, books, and helpful videos via Buffer while also sharing my own work.
So: What all this amounts to is that my tweets delete weekly, I am never actually logged into Twitter and so I never see my mentions or how an individual tweet performs, and I use Buffer to auto post everything. So I have an active Twitter account, but I also am not subjecting myself to the idiocy that is Twitter. Does this fulfill what publishers are wanting when they ask about a writer’s social media platform? I dunno. I suppose that’s up to the individual publisher. But I can honestly tell publishers that I have an active Twitter account with x number of followers, so there is that.