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I stopped following @KanyeWest.

I started following him the day he joined and four or five days later I was tired of his tweets. I even came to view his tweets as spam1.

The novelty of Twitter is being able to receive one-liners from your favorite comedians, celebrities, models, brands, etc in real time. But the real genius of Twitter was switching the vocabulary: instead of “subscribe” to this person’s RSS feed–essentially what you’re doing and what you can do in Google Reader anyway–they’ve had you “follow” people. Thus, your friends are on the same level as celebrities. You follow them, you merit their 140 characters valuable.

But Kanye was the stick that broke my Twitter account’s back. I had been following maybe 10 rappers or so and I swiftly trimmed that crowd down to about two or three. I have friends on Twitter who write genuinely humorous material; indeed, they justify the “follow” nomenclature. And, as per the operating theory of why Twitter is successful, they tend to share things I enjoy more often than not. Kanye broke that trust for me: it turns out the only peek I want into his life is the peek that comes every two to three years in the form of an approximately forty five minutes of rapping2.

As for the other rappers, I suffered some internal turmoil before I concluded, “Screw it.” I am a fan of their work, I follow them, their careers, their albums. I know that I don’t have to prove it to them by following them on Twitter. Furthermore, I don’t give a shit about random follower #1,045 who got a retweet because he said something one of my favorite rappers enjoys along the lines of “This is a good song.” I’m glad the both of you think that, but I’d like to be able to judge for myself or at least be able to find the things my friends have said and your original content. Unless your content reads like Kanye’s.

I thoroughly enjoy @Therealbigboi’s tweets because he answers questions, but he answers them for everyone instead of just for the person who asked. I also like @Chamillionare’s tweets because he’s using Twitter the way we all do: either to share something funny or ask a question, to get a recommendation. He’s keeping the conversation alive. And furthermore, @Ludacris is funny. Also, tweets like “In terms of landscape, alcoholism and literary prowess, The South is America’s Ireland.” are why you should be following @pattonoswalt. That shit is epic.

1. I will say I enjoy following Eric B. The first tweet I saw from him was “Hope you had a good day.” Uh, hell yes I did–hope you had fun making one of the most important albums of all time. I’mma let you Finnish, terrible Kanye tweets. BOOM! Live-texting from Sweden and a Taylor Swift joke all at once!
2. I was very careful about my word choice here. “Rapping.”


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