How to improve your Twitter experience
So, I've been a Twitter user for around 10 years now, in most of that timespan I've been rather active, if not by posting it is by reading basically most of the time.
In the past few months/last year however, I actually reduced the activity to be rather low and only recently came back to Twitter again.
The main reason I was staying off was the feeling of dread I actually got from reading my timeline quite a few times. Negativity, currently spread topics and many more contents of my timeline just drove me off the site.
Now that I'm a bit more active again I'd like to share some of the tips that I used to get my experience up to something enjoyable again. I'll also include a lot of tips for TweetDeck, which is my main way of using Twitter.
Clean up your Home timeline
Your Home timeline is the first thing you'll see logging on to Twitter or opening your client, so it's also one of the first things to be addressed so it doesn't drive you directly to closing the app.
First and foremost, unfollow people. If you can't identify with people and their content anymore after having followed them for a specific reason, it's fine to unfollow them again, even if they follow you. There's no obligation to keep a follow-relationship going. I personally went and reduced my followings from 360 to around 190.
Utilize Twitter features to clean up your feeds, like muting and disabling retweets. These can quickly rid your feeds of topics you don't want to hear about, whatever your personal reasoning is. Disabling retweets is also something a lot of people either don't know about or don't use, but in the official apps and website (and on TweetDeck with BetterTweetDeck) you can disable the retweets of a user, which can be especially handy if you like the content of someone, but the things they share are either too much or not up your alley.
In general, if you follow people for their content without interacting with them too much, you could also consider setting up Lists and group people into them, in the official apps you can then pin these lists so that they are visible as tabs in your Home feed! On TweetDeck, you can just create additional columns for your lists!
Reduce further noise
First off: Literal noise. Limit notifications to as few as possible. Especially Twitter tends to send many for stuff that doesn't personally involve you, so try to cap on as many as these as possible. Disable sounds and don't let Twitter distract you, keep it at notifying for what's important to you.
Review your notification settings in the Twitter app, and disable stuff like “Popular in your network” to not get notifications on random tweets from people you don't even follow.
In TweetDeck, I'm employing even more of a reduction for this, I've set up a filter in my Notifications column that disables any of the “Actions on your likes/retweets” notifications. These have nothing to do with my own posts, and so only create clutter, and more notifications.
There's pretty much only one tip here, but it's key regardless:
Evaluate your replies and, if you are not sure, don't reply
If you see something on your timeline, an already heated discussion, an opinion someone has you deem wrong, etc. really think about if you want to reply or not. Jumping on someone who already is aggreviated will not end up in a “clear” discussion and you'll just get angry yourself, or a person is really set on their point, you'll just grow frustrated.
If it's something you need to let steam off over, consider posting on a private account, and if you don't have one, consult one of your friends and talk/write with them about it.
Managing to steer clear of (usually) pointless arguments will keep your mood way up higher than you might initially expect.
These few things already greatly improved my experience with Twitter.
And, don't forget, these are my personal tips I decided to share. Everyone's experience and consumption of Twitter is different, so you might not deem these tips useful for yourself. If you have any other feedback or things you do yourself to keep your experience up, feel free to share them with me!