My daily Twitter use is often spontaneous and sporadic. I tend to read more than I post. It occupies the brief voids one encounters during the day, ably distracts, and provides an unparalleled source of education. I tend to latch onto a single theme per day and try to follow this up with supplementary reading. A deep dive into the published literature for each topic is desirable, but often unattainable. Instead Twitter provides me with soundbites from a breadth of topics, dictated by the individuals, hashtags and lists I follow. However, content can be variable. I’ve learnt that refining the newsfeed to enhance the signal-to-noise ratio is an iterative, and necessary, process.
At times we are treated to an expertly threaded set of tweets, describing a scientific theory, reporting a scientific meeting, highlighting an area of concern, asking for help, or educating the community through tweetorials. I often try to “like” or “retweet” the threads I find useful for posterity — a perennial challenge is trying to find the tweets that I’ve derived value from.
However, for all this praise, there is an annoyance: Twitter is the kindling that fuels modern day hyper-distractibility. The constant updates, alerts and notifications, become wearing, and I’m yet to find balance.