I used to love twitter, maybe too much.
Ps: Now I am on Threads
One of the reasons was not just because it seemed like a great place for content consumption but also a great place for content publishing. You could express yourself in short tweets or tweet threads, you could get instant feedback, you could “produce” more content and it was a pure win win
I used to think these were great things because
- Low bar of entry. Writing a blog post is hard. It takes time and effort. Tweets are “full blown” ideas expreseed in 240 characters. Much more easier to produce. I dont have to wait to spend time to share my thoughts
- I thought the ability to boil down complex topics in 240 characters was great as it forced me to focus on the bare essense of the topic without the fluff. I was kind of proud of mine
- and you could always thread tweets for slightly longer topics
- It was also easier to consume because when I read someone elses tweets / tweet threads it felt like they were talking about the bare essence of their idea without wasting my time
- Many of my tweet threads started becoming Blog posts, which was pretty good way of getting out of the writing rut
But as years went by I started to see some changes
- I started THINKING in tweets: Its one thing to be able to express your ideas in tweets, and another to start “Thinking” in tweet format. Its hard to explain but go with me here a bit
- I stopped self education IF I had enough to tweet : Since there is no nuance in tweets I had a fake sense of understanding of a topic if I had enough information to make a tweet. Even if I did not tweet about it, in my mind it started to feel “good enough” .
I cannot possibly have great understanding of every new tech out there , but I started realising that I was stopping my education much earlier, in part because I knew I could “tweet” about it if needed.
Even though it was not the aim, “can I tweet if needed” become a barometer of “if i understood” the topic . This was a LOW bar. For eg when I look back, I am horrified how little I knew about a topic I tweeted on but I can pretty much stand behind all my long forms
- I was consuming more, learning less. Reading through twitter threads of learned people started giving me this false sense of understanding. Do not get me wrong, some were great but many were just meant to be “tweets”
- I forgot tweets are much more temporary, there is little to look back on, little for people to “know you by” , little to refer after years. Blogs and long form are kind of more permanent, so If I do want to be known for some of my work, twitter is only the entry gate not the show
- My blog posts that were inspired by tweets started ending up just being slight expansions of the tweets themselves. They were not writing prompts but just disorganized thoughts put together in one giant pile of garbage blog . It was not useful.
So how do I plan to change
- I want to retrain my brain from thinking in tweets / short form and start thinking long form.
- Ideas are messy and tweets are kind of structured. There is a reason blogs are long, and the core idea needs support, and that telling the “crux” directly doesn’t help. You need to go through the full journey to finally have some understanding . I want to embrace that messiness
- Tweets From blogs and not the other way round. I am still for threads / tweets as a great form of communication but it has to start as a long form and then become a tweet , not vice versa.