Tweeter Totter

Wednesday, September 25th 2019

I've been thinking a lot lately about all the ways Twitter is wonderful and terrible. First the good bits: it's democratizing and lowers the bar to entry for posting content on the internet, even if it's limited to 240 characters and living on a private company's platform. It's a tool that allows niche or marginalized or just plain smaller communities to connect, share, discovery and be discovered in a way that they otherwise might not. Twitter, at it's best, embodies all the positive connotations the word "social" might convey when we call it a social medium. It's doing what the internet, at its best, has done from the beginning, but in a way that's more accessible.

On the flip side, for each good thing it amplifies it feels like seven terrible things also get elevated. Sometimes it feels like a perpetual outrage machine—a hurricane of angry swifts chirping past one another midflight. On its worst days it's less a social media platform and more of a propaganda tool—one that's been weaponized in part to inept leadership more interested in tweeting platitudes than producing solutions.

Long-term, Twitter cannot last. Someday the borrowed money that keeps it afloat will run out and the newer generation of internet users will stop paying attention.

But that is neither here nor there today. In the meantime, I made a silly project:

Tweeter Totter

https://github.com/georgemandis/tweeter-totter

What does it do? It's a script that ensures your total number of tweets never exceeds the number of followers you have.

Why? Because I think tweets are best when they're kept ephemeral. And I also thing it's a tongue-in-cheek way to ensure you're "reach" never quite exceeds the number of people on Twitter who are actually paying attention to you :-)

Pull requests welcome. Let me know what you think!