Cynicism, egos, unprovoked hostility, unchecked propaganda, sexism, bigotry, and outright hate—Twitter is as full of it as virtually anywhere online, and worse, it’s unbearably nonstop. The design of the place feels uniquely unhealthy due in large part to its speed and unrelenting stream. Opening up TweetDeck, the Twitter-owned client favored by maniacs like me thanks to its real-time updating feature, can seem like stepping into an oncoming tidal wave and getting swept out to sea. Before too long, you feel exhausted and ready to give up.
Many of us have to be on Twitter due to our jobs, some of us just feel like we have to be. I’m here to offer a few ancient and unsexy alternatives to Twitter as life preservers. We’re doing a nautical theme today, by the way, I hope that’s cool with you. No reason.
In 2019, social media is water in our lungs (I’m sorry, I’m sorry, that’s the last one). With so many of us contemplating deleting our accounts or at least cutting down on that screen time, it’s time to reconsider something that feels lost in this era of algorithm-fueled newsfeeds and timelines: RSS.
RSS is a family of technologies that give you a simple feed from a spot on the web—a news site, a podcast, a blog—into your RSS reader. It’s a timeline of sorts, yes, but it runs at a sane speed, and it stays in your control, unlike Facebook or Twitter’s unknowable whims, and it excludes the vast majority of toxic noise that characterizes so much of social media. Folks, RSS is still good. More than just good, RSS is better in many ways than Twitter.