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Why Threads Feels So Good

It's the first day of high school. You're standing at a new bus stop looking at your new class schedule. You're rocking a new outfit with a new, light and empty backpack. You're refreshed after summer break and optimistic about the year ahead.

Everything around you feels fresh and new - which means you're seeing your first day as your opportunity to make yourself new too. New clubs, new friend groups, new relationships. It's an exciting time to reflect, reset, and reinvent everything based on who you are right now and who you want to be.

I think that's what's happening on Threads right now. We're having an internet version of the first day of school, and we're all excited and optimistic about the social reset it represents.

If we're honest with ourselves though, we know that...

โš ๏ธ This feeling won't last long.

Evan Edinger put out a great video this week about his experience riding the roller coaster of new social media apps throughout the years. He talked about how Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, etc. have all gone through the same hype cycle.

Everyone is really excited about a new app that connects us to our friends. We all join and it feels like a great time. Then, once we're "addicted" to it, the companies that run them strip out any semblance of the "social" part of social media and fill our feeds with ads and sponsored posts until it is a nearly uninhabitable place to be...and then they restart the cycle with another app.

At the end of the video, Evan concludes though that he's still excited about Threads. Even if its demise is probable, being there for the first year of a new app when everything is exciting and new is fun.

This is exactly how I feel. Yes, I'm sure Meta's greed will eventually make Threads an uninhabitable place to be, but until then, I'm enjoying the benefits of a fresh place to curate a new me on the internet.

Here's how I'm taking advantage of this moment...

โ˜๏ธ Reinfluencing my feed.

I have lived many lives since joining Twitter at 14 years old. I've been a video producer, a web designer, a college student, an entrepreneur, a software engineer, a writer; I've lived through two of the most contentious presidential elections in the history of our country and a global pandemic; and my feed reflects all of that baggage of my life online.

And just like a closet full of clothes you've accumulated over time, many of the people and accounts I've followed don't fit me or my style anymore. So, Threads has given me the opportunity to start from scratch and currate my feed to serve who I am today and who I want to be in the future.

In Steal Like An Artist, author Austin Kleon talks about the misconception people have about influence. We often think of "Influencers" as those with the power to shape the way we think. But that is only true if we choose to listen to them. Those on our feeds only have power that we grant them.

You are...a mashup of what you choose to let into your life. You are the sum of your influences. - Austin Kleon, Steal Like An Artist

With my feed on Threads, I'm making a concious effort to be very picky with who I follow. My goal is to have my feed be a place that helps me generate ideas for articles and other projects by providing me insight and sparking my curiosity.

For me, that means following other people obsessed with the Internet, independent entreprenuership, and the creator economy. It also means being hyper vigilant about muting everything else so that the algorithm never throws something on my feed that isn't related to that specific purpose. This is especially true of accounts that are sensational, problematic, political or controversial.

๐Ÿ›‘ Hate is a distraction.

"We are shaped and fashioned by what we love". - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

I think you can replace "love" with "hate". Many people online steal our attention by infuriating us, egging us on by promoting the opposite of our own beliefs. And often our feeds become a trap of dispair because we fill them with those that we hate in an attempt to keep our enemies close.

I think that's fine to do if that's how you want to use social media. If you want it to be a tool to keep tabs on your opposition, great. But that's not for me. I'm creating a bubble of inspiration and aspiration around my feed. I want it to be a reflection of who I want to be - not who I don't want to be.

Now, some of you might worry that this type of strict, narrow curration will make me less engaged or educated on social and political issues. Well, I agree that it will definitely make me less engaged and educated on social and political issue on Threads. And I invite you to ponder whether your social media feed is really the most effective place for you to read the news or be an activist.

๐Ÿงต Thread ahead.

I'd love to hear your thoughts on this article over on Threads! You can follow me here. Also, if you want to get notified the next time I post an article like this, you can sign up for my newsletter using the form down below.

Until next time.

Drew Lyton
Drew Lyton
Monday, July 10, 2023

I'm a software engineer, ex-founder and writer who cares deeply about creating a better relationship between technology and society. I'm currently writing a book about early stage entrepreneurship.


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