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Archive: Curate your Twitter lists for better wellbeing
Social media has incredible reach and power.
Despite its faults, Twitter is one of the many channels that adds to this.
For all of these positives however, its negative impact on mental wellbeing are widely documented.
Take back control
I'm heavily involved in #digitalpr Twitter and it is a genuinely brilliant place.
The free sharing of knowledge is second to none, but the constant tide of reading other people's wins and successes can be overwhelming.
It's no surprise when many in the community feel the need to publicly take a break or discuss feelings of imposter syndrome.
Feeling the need to compete is natural, but can prove harmful.
We forget we often only see the wins and not the reality – the slog, the late nights and even the failures.
That isn't to say everyone should stop sharing their wins, but we should all take some steps to improve our own wellbeing when we see signs of strain or stress.
Side note specifically for digital PRs: I highly recommend this very honest presentation from Shannon McGuirk if you're looking for real truth in the industry.
See what you want to see
A simple solution if you're starting to find your Twitter feed overwhelming is to break it up.
Unfollow those whose content affects your mindset and keep those who provide you with a more balanced timeline.
Everyone else can go in a list.
They can be private or public. That's your decision.
If you're naming them 'Loud people I generally ignore' or 'Just... too much' then it's probably best to keep them private.
That's admittedly quite cynical but you get the idea. And no, I don't have any lists by those names.
The point is, your lists are yours to curate. Making them public can cause even more undue pressure or guilt-trips if you think you've missed someone off.
Why add to the mental strain?
Quick tips for Twitter lists
Set up lists for as many categories of people as you want, especially those you are unfollowing.
These can be subdivided by the companies they work for, their expertise, locations, even their personality types. Anything is fair game, including your direct competition!
This also works for monitoring your customers without making it obvious who you work for.
I generally advise making lists private unless you're hot on updating and curating, with the intention to in-turn raise your own profile. These lists can be public; everything else private.
Revisit your lists at your leisure, especially if you've had to unfollow someone with incredible ideas but brings too much noise to your feed.
Check these new lists for ideas and recent posts, but ignore the waffle. That's why you created them in the first place!
If you don't want some people to know you've unfollowed them – yes, this is a thing – then simply mute them on your main feed and add to the appropriate list.
Adapt and edit as you go forward. You'll soon learn which lists work best for you.
Let me know how you get on.
I'd like to leave you with something I discovered only yesterday which is massively relevant - from the genius mind of Kevin Smith, via SEO's own Danny Goodwin:
Rewording this quote for SEO Twitter:
It costs you nothing to encourage someone who does SEO, and the benefits are staggering...
Discourage someone who does SEO, you get absolutely nothing in return, ever.
In other words: lift others up, don't tear them down. pic.twitter.com/R4yCHDZaZx
— Danny Goodwin (@MrDannyGoodwin) August 31, 2020