I love Twitter. I don't love what Twitter does to me. When I'm self-conscious enough to notice, what I see spewing from my timeline too often is bombastic, caustic, sarcastic, and simplistic. Did I mention self-promotional? (I wrote "I" or "me" seven times so far, a near-record.)
I love Twitter when it connects with readers who force me to rethink my view of things. Readers who teach me something new or who share an interesting story. To hear more from those people in 2015, I need to behave better in the conversational space we share.
Which brings me to six New Year's resolutions on my use of Twitter. Please hold me to them.
No fighting: Don't tweet when angry. Don't tweet with the intent to anger somebody else.
No mocking: Mockery is the language of insecure people saddled with weak arguments.
No name-calling: Only an idiot resorts to that.
No cursing: Only a dang idiot resorts to that.
Wait for confirmation: No self-respecting journalist would distribute rumor or unsourced material under his or her byline. The same standard should apply, whenever possible, to my timeline.
Limit tweets: Active engagement on Twitter makes me accountable and available to readers, which is a good thing. It also promotes my work, a necessity of the new-media business model. But there is a thin line between accountability and annoyance—between self-promotion and self-delusion. This year, my aim is to be a prolific twitterer who doesn't blur those lines.
This article is from the archive of our partner National Journal.