I tolerate Facebook, but I love Twitter. Having posted nearly twenty-three-thousand Tweets over the years, I use Twitter almost daily to track the news and views of the day and to comment about it.
But one thing I never got was Twitter’s “favorite” feature. I thought, if you like another person’s post, why not just retweet it? A retweet notifies not only the person who posted it but everyone else who follows me.
But then I became a father, and I found that using my mobile device (my iPhone) one-handed often came in much handier than before. Thankfully, mobile Twitter allows for the use of lists, which I find essential for navigating Twitter. But a mobile does not allow for the flexibility of a desktop in terms of opening multiple windows, saving articles to Evernote, and the like.
My solution? I now use the “favorite” feature to track Tweets I want to check out later. I can read my lists on my mobile, read, retweet, or ignore the Tweets I have time to check then, and favorite Tweets I want to check out later.
So, earlier today, I favorited a few Tweets while feeding my son a bottle, then strapped my son in his Moby for a nap and loaded up my favorited Tweets on my desktop. (Actually, I use an Apple laptop exclusively now, but usually I use it the same way I used to use a dedicated desktop, so that’s how I usually think of it.)
Some favorited Tweets I retweeted, others I used to track news stories (such as a coming fight in Colorado over the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights), and others I discovered to be not too interesting, after all.
In any case, I unfavorited the entire list when I was through. Basically, I used my favorites list as something like a Twitter inbox, then achieved “Twitter inbox zero” by clearing my favorites. I could also just leave everything favorited, but then I’d have to track where I left off, which I don’t want to do.
With this new use of Twitter favorites, Twitter for me just got a lot more flexible—ideal given my more adventurous schedule with baby.