Thursday, 9 May 2013

5 Ways To Be Happier On Twitter

The theme for today's Blog Every Day in May post is Favourite Social Media Channel and without a doubt mine is Twitter. You can follow me at @hollyjunesmith.

I've been on Twitter for over 4 years now and it literally (correct usage) has changed my life. It has brought me love, copious incredible friends and lots of opportunities. It has helped me gain insight into my industry and meet a huge network of people doing wonderful work for charities. It has found me two fantastic book clubs (at different times, there's no book club cheating going on here!) It has informed me of events, restaurants, gigs, markets, book launches and comedy nights. It has made me smarter and more insightful, I'm reading a broader variety of articles than ever before.

It has made me confident. Twitter gave me somewhere to say what I really think and a tribe of people to nod and go 'yep, me too!' It gave me the courage to move cities, twice, because I knew I'd make friends through Twitter. It has my back.

And yet at times Twitter can be the absolute worst place in the world. Sometimes days go by and I feel negative every time I look at my feed. On big news days (like when Thatcher died), the noise becomes so overwhelming that I log off for a few days and don't even miss it. Sometimes it all feels a bit pointless but I've been through enough of these phases now to know how to deal with it. If you've fallen out of love with Twitter, here are some ways to get the magic back.

Have a mass unfollow session
Head to your following page, scroll through and unfollow any accounts you can't remember following, any you always scroll past without reading and any that regularly make you angry/upset/jealous/irritated etc. You don't need that negativity in your life. Unfollowing can be tough, but don't feel guilty, doing it in bulk definitely takes the pain away. Remember you can always re-follow (but you probably won't).

Follow several new people
Your oldest friends on Twitter are probably some of the greatest people you know, but it's nice to have new ones to follow too. When I first joined I'd search for bands/films/books I liked and follow whoever else talked about them but with so many members it's much harder now to find the diamonds in the shite. A good way to find new people to follow is to look at the accounts your favourite people regularly talk to and follow them too. This is Twitter, that's totally normal and acceptable.

Quit lurking
Are there people who you really enjoy following but never actually talk to? Say something! If I want to feel more engaged with Twitter I try to reply to two people a day who I normally don't speak to.

Get a client with a mute function
I use Twicca but there are plenty third-party Twitter apps with this feature now. It's extremely handy for muting tweets about TV shows I don't watch, football chat and even people who I like to follow but who temporarily are talking about something irrelevant to me (conferences etc).

Check yo'self before you wreck yo'self (or, a little self-assessment never hurts)
Are there online behaviours that you really loathe? The constant complainer, the brand that is SUPER FRIENDLY GUYS, the mate who posts 50 baby photos a day, the oversharer, the one who dictates how we should think/feel/act, the frequent #ff-er (HOW is this still a thing?) and the bossy one who tells you how to 'do' Twitter (IRONY ALERT). If there's a type of behaviour that you hate, best make damn sure you don't do it yourself. Glass houses and all that!

I want Twitter to be a place that makes me happier, smarter, funnier and more inspired. If you want that too, do yourself a favour, follow these steps and watch the negativity just disappear.

This post is part of the Blog Every Day in May challenge


  1. Very good tips! : )

  2. Yes! Absolutely! Sometimes I have to really step back because I find I'm using Twitter as an avenue for my wallowing, and it just encourages negative feelings. But it is also such a happy place and I've had SO much support on there when I've needed it. Good old Twitter!

  3. Great tips, I need to take some of these tips on!

  4. A good Twitter cull always puts me back on top! Great tips :)

    Kerri x

  5. Love this Holly. I think the mass unfollow is one that I've found has real value.

    It's easy to increase the amount of people you follow without realising, but if the people you're following aren't posting stuff that engages you, that you find interesting, it can really reduce the value of Twitter. Nothing like a good mass unfollow to tidy up your feed and make it more fun and useful again. :)

  6. Thanks everyone! It's lovely to hear so many people have benefitted from these tips. Yay for Twitter happiness!

  7. I am loving all your life tips Holly! THANK YOU!

  8. Good tips! :)

    Rather than culling follows, I use lists. I have a private "Important" list that's all the people I really want updates from (this does get culled occasionally) and then other lists for things like music, charities, news, local people, etc. My main feed and follow list is then everyone I've ever followed, should I wish to look them up again.

    The opposite strategy would also work: keep a private list of "everyone" that's everyone you've ever followed, but cull your real follow list.

    I use Twitter clients with good list management (Tweetdeck for desktop, Tweetbot for iOS) and regularly read my important list, and then I dip in and out of other lists or my main feed.

    Stay happy!! :)