How to Make Twitter Good: Do It Yourself

Dominic Lipinski/ZUMA

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I’m sure I’ve said this before—maybe on Twitter!—but we should all pay a whole lot less attention to Twitter. A lot less. Stop obsessing about it. Stop arguing endlessly on it. Stop following hundreds of people, many of whom are stone assholes. Stop getting upset because one or two—or a few dozen—people say something nasty about you. Stop thinking you might change minds or win arguments on Twitter.

Just stop. Twitter represents the American id, to a certain extent, and if you voluntarily decide to dive into our national id and swim around in the muck, that’s fine. But know it for what it is, and don’t bother the rest of us with your discoveries. We all know that there are lots of assholes out there.

For the rest of you, follow these rules:

  • A “meme” doesn’t exists unless at least 10,000 people have repeated it on Twitter. In the Twitterverse, 10,000 is about equal to 100 in the ordinary world.
  • Follow people you like following. Ditch all the rest.
  • If you’re a thin-skinned type, block people with abandon. Don’t allow any second chances. If they say something mean, block ’em. You owe them nothing.
  • Don’t argue with assholes. This is actually just general advice for a healthier life, but it’s super-good advice for Twitter.

I’m not sure why I suddenly felt the need to repeat this. I guess it’s because we’re going through another round of how horrible Twitter is and how horrible @Jack is, but honestly, Twitter is only as horrible as you allow it to be. It can be the worst place in the world or it can be a modest part of your life that’s good for an occasional laugh or some handy information. The folks at Twitter will probably never change, but that doesn’t mean we have to just accept what they give us. With a small amount of effort, it’s not that hard to make Twitter into something that’s personally fun and useful.

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TIME IS RUNNING OUT!

We have an ambitious $350,000 online fundraising goal this month and it's truly crunch time: About 15 percent of our yearly online giving usually comes in during the final week of the year, and in "No Cute Headlines or Manipulative BS," we explain why we simply can't afford to come up short right now.

The bottom line: Corporations and powerful people with deep pockets will never sustain the type of journalism Mother Jones exists to do. And advertising or profit-driven ownership groups will never make time-intensive, in-depth reporting viable.

That's why donations big and small make up 74 percent of our budget this year. There is no backup to keep us going, no alternate revenue source, no secret benefactor. If readers don’t donate, we won’t be here. It's that simple.

And if you can help us out with a donation right now, all online gifts will be matched thanks to an incredibly generous matching gift pledge.

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