I have been a Twitter user since January of 2011. If there is one thing I have learned in that time, it is that I do not want to know what any Twitter user thinks about anything, ever, under any circumstances. Whenever a lot of people are talking about basically any subject at all on Twitter, that is my cue to mute some keywords related to that subject, forever, so that I do not have to see it anymore.
Occasionally I will get an alert that I have bumped up against Twitter’s limit of 200 muted keywords per user. Then I will go in and un-mute some stuff that seems, with the passage of time, inoffensive or inexplicable, to make room for the new stuff. The muted keywords list is always a strange document in these instances. Sometimes I do not even know what the hell a given keyword means, or refers to. Who can know why I wanted to mute it at some point in the past 11 years? It must have really been popping off on whatever day that was. Especially with older stuff: Ten years ago I followed a lot fewer accounts; if even three of them were tweeting about a given subject at a time, or one of them was tweeting a lot about something, it could dominate my feed in a way that made me feel a kind of claustrophobic tension that could only be resolved by sending keywords related to that subject into the Void.
I bumped into the muted keyword limit this morning, for the first time in probably 18 months or more, when I opened Twitter on my phone and approximately 270 out of the first 271 tweets I saw were adult professionals in their 30s and 40s tweeting about … well, you can guess. When the subject came up in Defector Slack this morning, my sicko coworkers asked me to share my mute list, and then when they saw it demanded that I blog it. So! Below are the all the keywords that were on the muted list this morning, plus the newest entry, which I added after removing “animalcrossing.”
Some of these are absolutely inscrutable to me! Who is Agnes Varda! And some of them are things that I like! An actual thing I have learned over the years of cantankerously muting basically everything more than three people want to talk about on Twitter is that this carries absolutely no cost, either to the Twitter experience or to my own actual meaningful engagement with that subject. Sometimes the very reason to mute a thing on Twitter, in fact, is that it is something I like, and I do not want to encounter the dogshit opinions Twitter users hold about a thing I like.
I’m stalling. Here is the damn list.
This has been a glimpse into my shattered brain. I’m going to mute this post’s URL on Twitter.