Friday, July 15, 2011
A year-and-a-half ago, I joined Twitter.
This week, I left Twitter.
It was several months in the making. I just didn't get much out of it. My tweets became fewer and more pointless, and I'd disappear for longer periods.
If I was using Twitter for my job, I would definitely still be on it. There are abundant benefits to Twitter when you work in the communication field.
But I was on Twitter for the fun of it. And you know what? I don't think it's that much fun.
In fact, over the last few months, Twitter made me more and more aggravated. Although it's great for getting information out, it can also be very irritating. I just didn't like what I was reading a lot of the time, and I'll leave it at that.
Basically, Twitter is filled with things I don't care about. The most mundane daily activities possible sometimes. This is one of the reasons I don't have a Facebook account. So why did I have a Twitter account?
Then you add the fact that I didn't think I was really contributing anything there. My tweets were flat-out stupid.
In short, Twitter became a chore. Something else to do.
A few days ago I read a story (in an actual newspaper) about how involved people are in social media, and how people are on the verge of overload. The story mentioned Dunbar's number, which is the outcome of a theory saying that there is a maximum number of people with whom anyone can keep a social relationship. This number is hard-wired into our brain.
That number is 150.
I had 140 Twitter followers. It's not like I had a relationship with all of them. I didn't even know who a lot of them were. But you combine that with the 260 followers on the blog, and, I started to think about what the point was to all of it. I started to think "what am I really trying to achieve here?"
I know what I'm trying to achieve on the blog.
I had no idea what I was trying to achieve on Twitter. And it's been that way since the first day.
I just find the blogs to be a happier and more substantial place. They just fit me better. I like to think I can't be confined into 140 characters. Or maybe I'm just way too chatty.
So, I entered this Twitter experiment with apprehension -- uncertain of what I could do in a new arena. And I leave it just as uncertain. In another way, Twitter could serve me well. But right now, as the third bird, it's just extra work.
Perhaps I'll miss out on a group break here or a contest there. But I'll also miss out on a bunch of stuff I have never cared about.
I don't mean to offend anyone who uses Twitter frequently. You've found a communication forum that you like and that fits you. I totally get that. I defended Twitter for over a year to people who questioned its necessity.
Some of you may be saying to yourself, "you're overthinking this."
Maybe. But I can't help how I feel.
So, yes, Jeff Twitty, I'm done with Twitter.
Hell hasn't frozen over after all.