It’s been a long time coming, and I feel it was inevitable: I’m retiring my Twitter account.
Twitter was fun back in 2007, when I signed up. It was a new thing. Nobody knew what to make of it, so we all put our own spin to it. From status messages, to sharing of short personal tidbits, to a way to interact with other people within your areas of interest, to ways to get support from products & services to… the preferred platform for fake news and rants. While the former doesn’t affect me much, the latter has become my own (admittedly) personal problem. It’s so easy to fire a tweet when something is not going your way. If you’re lucky, you might even get a discount on your next bill or perhaps a supply of chicken wings for the rest of your life… All in return for good PR!
Personally, I feel like the amount of quality conversations, discussions, and genuine interactions on Twitter has steadily been declining for me. Where even a rant-y tweet would generate some discussion (and, in many cases, help that pointed out I was doing something wrong and not being wronged by something), now nothing happens. Maybe a like, or a retweet… but no conversation. I feel like this one-way “shouting meta” has taken over and redefined Twitter. It has become a room of one-way shouts, with very little actual conversation.
On top of that, I don’t fit any bubbles: I’m white but not American, male but happily married with kid(s), opinionated but change my mind, introvert but also extrovert, nerd but never bullied, fundamentalist in what I believe to be absolute truth and liberal in everything else, love tech but also love sports, love gaming but don’t enjoy most “gamer games”, etc… I feel like Twitter is reinforcing bubbles and that has, progressively, made me upset and uncomfortable. Twitter has stopped giving me social interaction and, instead, is delivering one-sided arguments and bubble-based narratives. As soon as you disagree with something you get hate unleashed. If you agree with something you’re ignored in the crowd of “me toos”. Furthermore, this state of things encourages tweets that are incendiary, that fire up people that agree with you, deepening the divide with people who disagree with you. And all of this from a place of utter lack of context and knowledge of the matter, and absolutely no respect for another human being. I just can’t fit that model… I refuse to fit that model.
Twitter has brought me more sadness and frustration than any positivity for some time now, but somehow it has remained a habit: open Twitter, check replies to (potentially) controversial tweets in my Timeline, reply or just shoot off a rant about something that bothered me, get frustrated by the replies (or lack thereof), rinse and repeat. Yes, it’s my fault. I’m not blaming Twitter. But, for me, that’s what Twitter has become and I don’t see it ever getting better.
I know this is a pretty personal decision and I’m not writing this in an attempt to win anyone’s sympathy or start some sort of #BoycottTwitter movement. I don’t care what you do, but I felt the need to share why I’m uninstalling all Twitter apps from all devices, deleting all my tweets, and linking an archive of my account on my profile. I’ve also turned on email notifications for Direct Messages and opened them to everyone, as a way to maintain a channel for potential conversations. I wish I could say that less Twitter will mean more long-form writing but I really can’t… Time is a finite resource, and I feel like I’m reaching a point in my life where the Internet is not worth my time…
Personally, I’m going through a complicated phase of life, while also fast approaching “mid-life”… I guess an early “mid-life crisis” is in order, huh? I’ve been dreaming of a homestead and getting into wood and metal working… Is this just me or is that the inevitable progression of anyone who has been deeply involved with the Web and its social networks since their inception? Is this the “end game” of an early adopter? I guess depression must come standard with this life of ours as well… ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
I’m fine. No, really. I’ll be fine. I just rather save my (ever shrinking) stress buffer for actually important things: family, (close) friends, health… you know: real life! Nothing against any of my “online friends”. I guess that ship has sailed… Life moved on and so must I.
Goodbye, farewell, and hazah!