social media

My Twitter Policy

I’m well and truly fed up.

I try to cultivate a broad range of contacts, especially via Twitter. I follow a lot of accounts there, including a lot of folks that have ideas I find difficult – it’s one of the ways I learn and expand my horizons.  To that end, I follow a lot of accounts there from many points of view and I try to cultivate a habit of listening more than reacting.

Lately the name-calling on Twitter has gotten worse. It’s happening from all sides of the political compass. It’s as if it’s become too much trouble to explain what is wrong with an idea, it’s just easier to call the person expressing that idea a nasty name.

So here’s the deal: post or RT something with name-calling in it, and I will unfollow that account. I don’t care if I love or hate the politics, I’m going to unfollow that account. Continuing to follow is rewarding the behavior, and I’m not doing it anymore.

Life’s too short. The world is full of important things to discuss, and we should discuss them, not waste our breath screaming epithets at one another.


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Rabbi Ruth Adar is a teaching rabbi in San Leandro, CA. She has many hats: rabbi, granny, and ham radio operator K6RAV. She blogs at and teaches at Jewish Gateways in Albany, CA.

8 thoughts on “My Twitter Policy”

  1. Bravo Rabbi Ruth. Sane dialogue is the only way to real understanding whether it be in person or using social media. I agree whole-heartedly with your decision.

    1. I hear you, Jeff. I have found Twitter so useful for learning about good articles that I really should read that I am loathe to give it up entirely. Going to see how this works, for a while, anyhow, but your approach may be the saner one.

  2. Hi Rabbi Ruth,

    I just came across your blog and thought I would check in to see what you’ve got. Impressive.

    I had exactly the same realization recently with not just Twitter but with Facebook as well. I unfriended a former colleague of mine (he’s from India, I’m born and raised Canadian) but we’ve had numerous discussions about the Arab-Israeli conflict because I was interested in his side, and I presumed he was interested in mine.

    Then yesterday I noticed that he liked and commented on some propaganda post from a “Free-Palestine” site, and I was offended not only because the information itself was insulting to all people everywhere but that by liking and supporting sides we are providing ammunition for these people (whomever is creating the content) to continue to do so.

    I them realized that I had to reach out to him to explain what I did and why I did it. We had a meaningful conversation and he apologized and said that he would remove his comment as he now realized how insensitive it was and how it can impact others.

    It has not been removed, and I’m a very forgiving person, but I realized that we, as humans, cannot ignore the haters, but most importantly, we cannot engage them.

    When the name calling starts, I too, am out!


    1. Warren,

      I support your decision to unfriend this colleague. Sadly it is sad to let someone go with whom you thought you had the opportunity to dialogue and learn, but when the other’s point of view begins to offend it is time to let go as difficult as the decision may be. I hope in the future he may once again let you know that he sincerely has changed his perspective as he realizes he values your friendship and values. If not, I hope you will find others whose values are more suited to yours and with whom your dialogues are more meaningful and discourse will be more full of learning.


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