I like writing rules for myself. My goal is to have rules for everything like this guy. So it was inevitable I would create this post one day considering I spend so much time on Twitter.

Here are my Twitter rules:

  • Whenever I get more repeated questions on the same topic, I write a blogpost so that I don’t have to reply the same thing again and again.

Why delete tweets

  • I am a hypocrite.
  • I change my opinions often. If you had access to all my tweets over the last 10 years, you will find me contradicting myself a lot.
  • I don’t tag people on my tweets unless it is really important. I don’t care about cheap engagement.
  • I don’t want to seek attention here. I try not to post controversial things just for the sake of engagement.
  • I have a playbook on how to grow a social media account. I try not to follow these myself. Why? Ego.
  • I never want to be a groupie. By groupie I mean an enthusiastic or uncritical follower of someone on Twitter. There are a lot of groupies. I think they are called simps now.
  • I practice horizontal relationships vs vertical, be it on social media or real life. Read the Courage to be Disliked to learn more on this subject.
  • Back scratching is at the core of the Twitter experience. I don’t want that. ‘Like’ my tweets if it is something worth liking. Not because I did the same for you.
    • Story time: When I was young I used to run all sort of experiments on social media. It was my way to study human behavior. I would like someone’s post/photo before sharing my own. I always found a super high correlation between me liking someone’s post following by them liking mine. I stopped believing in social media relationships quite early in my life thanks to these experiences.
  • I don’t change my Twitter activity based on how many followers I have. My Twitter is me dumping my thoughts, good or bad. It was same when I had a 100 followers. It is the same when I have 15K.
    • Story time: Years back I used to be minor Quora celeb (forgive me for calling myself that). I probably had one of the highest Upvote/Answer count of Quora writers. Anything I used to write would blow up. As I gained followers, I started getting followed by other prominent/famous folks (startup founders, other top writers etc). Basically people who mattered on Quora. The flip side of that was me getting paranoid about losing my top/famous followers. I started only sharing the ‘best content possible’. A political strategy post I had written got viral during that time. Because a few of political analysts had followed me after that post, I started wondering if I should write longer ‘thought leadership posts on politics’ even though I was not that into Politics. I started writing less of what I actually wanted and more of what would make me ‘seem smart’ amongst my new ‘famous’ followers. I used to write a lot of joke answers (the version of shit posting on Quora) earlier but I stopped that. I eventually overcame this phase. And by the time I was done I realised I no longer enjoyed writing on Quora. Giving life advice to 15 year olds loses its appeal after a while. But promised myself that I would never ever change my writing style or content to impress other people. If people like what I write (be it Product Management content or shit posts) they would follow. If they don’t they can always unfollow/mute/block me.
    • This has been the hardest rule to follow.
    • I see a lot of VCs, startup founders following me on Twitter nowadays. Unlike half a decade back I don’t worry about them unfollowing me because of my shit posts. I have stopped caring. I joke. I shitpost. I vent. Sometimes I post good stuff too. But it is my choice and not something I am sharing to impress random people on the Internet.
  • Don’t separate Manas the PM from Manas the shit poster. Social media should be a reflection of your entire persona and not a curated version of you. I am more than a product lead at some startup. I am more than a shitposter.
  • I don’t reply to questions (either on replies or DM) that can be easily answered through a simple Google search.
  • I don’t reply to Hi/Hello messages that don’t have any context attached.
  • I make people work for the help they seek.. 50% of these people don’t even acknowledge my message because it involves an ask from me. But I get pleasantly surprised when someone actually reads the posts mentioned in the link and comes back with follow up questions.

Twitter help request reply

  • I don’t tie my ego to my Twitter profile. Or the number of followers, likes, retweets and other vanity metrics.
  • Story time: Long back when I used to be a minor Quora celeb (wow Manas, stop with the Quora stories already. we get that you were popular) it used to make me super happy seeing my answers get thousands of upvotes, hundred thousand+ page views. I used to track these numbers obsessively, and get super happy with myself. Way back when I was on Twiter, I used to check who follow me. Then I got depressed if I saw a famous follower unfollow me. “Oh, maybe they got upset at something I posted. Should I remove my last tweet?” I used to have these thoughts all the time. My friend used to work at Crowdfire. He told me how to track my unfollowers. And I did. It made me depressed. Then one day I stopped. I don’t even use my actual account to use Twitter. I have an Alt. I just post my rants using main and then log out.
  • I know I won’t be looking for cheap ways for engagement or Twitter fights, if I am deleting my posts anyway. Or care too much about likes or retweets. The dopamine hits with each retweet is temporary. They give happiness in the short-term but like most things in life do not matter in the long run. I also don’t have any tracking/analytics on my website. I don’t want to know how many people are reading this. I do check similiarweb if it helps me.
  • Likes and retweets do not matter at all? Then why do you tweet you ask. Yes, I do get the dopamine hits. I do refresh to see if there is some interesting reply. And if no one interacted with my tweets, I will oviously not post them. But I don’t want to change who I am for my Twitter account. I don’t want to become a railway station announcer posting pithy takes that accumulates the maximum amount of likes.
  • Deleting my tweets lets me be more honest with my thoughts. If I knew all my tweets would be stored for eternity I would not probably shit post about the Government. I don’t want to go to jail for some dumb tweet I posted.
  • My tweets being ephemeral lets my profile be a reflection of who I am at the current. Feelings change. Opinions change. I don’t want to be tied to my tweets or my current opinions. I cringe at most of my teenage facebook posts. I don’t want some asshole going through my tweets from 5 years back and taking screenshots (which has happened in the past with facebook). Though I do the same thing with other accounts. As I mentioned above, I am a hypocrite.
  • I turn long threads into blogposts if I think people found them useful and would want to read them later.
  • I don’t argue with people online. No one will change their views based on a single tweet. So why put in the effort? I also have a tendency to argue and prove my point. So instead of wasting my time, I just block/mute people.
  • If you tag people on my tweets, I will block you. Unless you are a friend, then I might DM you.
  • I don’t write pointless replies like ‘Disagree’, ‘Don’t think so’ on other people’s tweets. They probably don’t care about my opinion anyway. What would I get by posting ‘Disagree’? Nothing. I call these NPC replies.
  • I don’t retweet my own tweets. Though it is tempting.
  • If I feel like I had posted something important earlier that will be interesting for people who followed me recently and did not get the chance to read it the first time, I repost the same tweet/blogpost.
  • I can’t stop myself from posting salty takes, but I delete them inside 15 minutes.
  • I feel tremendously guilty after posting salty takes.
  • I generally comment on trends and not specific people. I will never QT people to dunk unless I am ready for an all out Twitter war. This happens rarely.
  • I am not a part of any Twitter circlejerk.
  • I rarely respond to Twitter replies unless there is something valuable I can add.
  • I have the right to post snarky replies if I am in a bad mood. I can’t stand stupid NPC replies.
  • I have the right to remind people that I don’t care about their opinion. If they disagree with something I posted, they can post their own tweet/ thread. Just not tag me.
  • If people QT to dunk, I block them.
  • I am not on Twitter to change people’s opinion on any subject or to make them like me.
  • If people come and tell me, “Tweet about X and not Y”, “Stick to X”, I gently remind them that I will tweet whatever the fuck I wan’t. This is my Twitter and I am the main character.
  • A lot of these rules over time has implicitly let me counterposition my account to the generic tech twitter account.

Note: If you disagree with these rules, just remember that these are mine and not yours. You are free to do what you want.

Updated on 15th Jan 2022.