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Dear Ashton Kutcher, I don't think you know how to use Twitter

Evan Dashevsky | May 27, 2013
Ashton Kutcher recently told an audience that the signal-to-noise ratio on Twitter has gotten out of hand. Here's a few basic tips for Ashton—or anyone—looking to make it a better experience.

When it comes to Twitter, I enjoy following friends, family, and co-workers in addition to humorous trolls and celebrities who have gone absolutely insane. And that's just the point: Twitter makes it very easy to follow—or unfollow—feeds as they fit your needs. Try that sometime, Ashton.

Step Two: Use Lists
Twitter makes it very easy to create lists that can help your cloister your feeds by social circles or interest. If you just want to see what your friends are up to, you can place them in a list that won't be inundated with thought sneezes from all other corners of the Internet.

According to Ashton's Twitter page, he already follows lists curated by others and has even creating two of his own: "end slavery" and "kataysthq." So he already has shown the the ability to filter out the lingual debris from the important stuff.

Step Three: Block Re-Tweets
We all have people in our Twitter feeds who enjoy following, but who perhaps abuse that retweet button that Ashton complained about? Thankfully, Twitter gives users the option to turn off retweets for specific feeds (it's right under the pull-down menu on their page).

Twitter does not offer the option to turn off all retweets, but this is probably a good thing. For those of us without millions of followers, the retweets give us an opportunity to amplify our voices within the greater tweet-storm, facilitating the "democratization of media" as ideas are allowed to spread rapidly.

It's all in how you use it
I have no vested interest in defending a big social media entity that is more than capable of defending itself should it so choose. Twitter —like any social network—is simply a tool. And like a quality social tool, Twitter offers ways to make it your own. While the company's recent moves into videomusic, or (inevitable) ad-focused campaigns may raise flags as to what the future may hold, for now Twitter has remained one of the most user-friendly networks, despite its embrace by the greater public. All you have to do is take some time to learn it.


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