Friday, June 25, 2010

Quitting the Hard Stuff

I deleted my Twitter account yesterday. I tweeted about my decision, kind of hoping someone might try to talk me out of it, but nobody did.

I did it for a lot of reasons. One, I never, okay rarely, tweet anything. Occasionally I'll retweet something and I respond to a fair amount of people's tweets. I'm an excellent @-er.

The second reason I did it is that I believe that Twitter is killing my productivity in a lot of ways. At work I'm so tempted just to check in, but then I have to catch up from where I left off, or I find an interesting link and down the rabbit hole I go, lost for 10, 15, 20 minutes at a time.

I also credit (blame?) twitter for the original weakening of my blog. Twitter was so addictive, so fun, so easy. I would often distill a blog post into 140 characters (well, not possible really but you know what I mean) and then feel no need to blog. Plus, I was following all my blog friends on Twitter so I could keep up with what they were doing there. My visits to other blogs dropped dramatically at the same time.

And finally, I felt like I was addicted to Twitter. On Tuesday and Wednesday I was constantly checking in, hitting refresh, refresh, refresh. And feeling antsy when there was nothing new to read. All day long.

And I'm not going to lie, this post by Steam Me Up, Kid really hit a nerve with me. I often feel like I'm on the outside of the Twitter window, looking in. While in some ways Twitter made me feel more connected, in others it made me feel more isolated.

I had lunch with a friend yesterday who uses Twitter as part of her job as a Librarian. She seemed kind of horrified by the fact that I had deleted Twitter and I worried that she felt I was judging her for still using it. I'm not judging anyone at all. Twitter is fun, can be used in a variety of different ways, and it has, I believe, changed the world. In some ways for the worse in my opinion, but you can't argue that it has also changed some things for the better.

I was very nervous before I hit the "Are you SURE?" button. I do have a lot of friends on Twitter and I know I'm going to miss your Tweets. You guys are freakin' hilarious. I'm afraid we won't stay in touch the same way we did before.

But I do feel a sense of peace since I deleted my account. And yes, I started jonesing for some Twitter action late yesterday afternoon. I may be back. I'm not ruling it out. But for now, I'm done.


Just in Case said...

I don't tweet - but I often feel the same way about facebook. I tend to kill ridiculous amounts of time toodling around. I often sit in my living room reading about other people's lives while my children are playing right in front of me. At times I feel like I should give up facebook and return to lego playing and dollhouse construction.

Burgh Baby said...

It took a while for me to figure out twitter and to get it to work with my day, but I think I'm mostly there. I think of it as a light switch I can turn on and off. There's no going back to ten minutes ago to see what things would have been like if the light had been on. Meaning, of course, if I miss three hours of tweets, I don't look at them. Once I got to that point, I realized I wasn't missing anything. It's about what's happening "now," y'know? I also use twitter as my reward for accomplishing things. Like, I won't let myself look at twitter until I'm done reviewing the 20-page report that I'm headed to just as soon as I close this little window.

AndreAnna said...

Awww, if I had saw your tweet I would have tried to talk to you out of it. But I'm like BurghBaby, I see what I see when I see it. If I miss a day or three hours, guess what? If it was THAT big, people would still be discussing it.

I'll miss you there but you know I'm on Gchat!

for a different kind of girl said...

I have many days where I feel like walking away from the Internet completely. It's an exhausting place, really. Sure, there's some good stuff out there, but after awhile, you start to wonder what more is there around the corner, and when you bump into it, what are the chances you've already seen it/heard it/read it before? I haven't blogged in a couple weeks, and even up to that point, it's been sporadic. I don't know if it's a slump that will be permanent (because sometimes I put stupid undo pressure on myself regarding that place) or random, but I'll be honest, I read this post and thought "Good for you!"

Steam Me Up, Kid said...

Yep, good for you. If you ever start to forget why you quit Twitter, go back to the homepage at and watch those "Top Tweets" scroll by. That's a perfect example of why Twitter needs to go.

No judgment when/if you go back though. It's a hard habit to break.

I'm really glad you liked my post, I was afraid the Twitter mafia would come take me down.