A Year Without Twitter

Last year, I stopped using Twitter, quite by accident: I was too busy planning and preparing my house for a large party. By the time the cleanup was over, I’d been without Twitter a week–but I didn’t even notice for several more that I’d stopped.

When I did notice, I thought I should try to extend my break for a year. I think Twitter has been a terrible company with horrible politics and, as much as I liked connecting with my friends and making new ones, I thought the pace and tenor of the Twitter discourse was unhealthy, as was my own clandestine quest to entertain and amuse my followers. I wondered if I’d been letting the Magic Smoke out, taking energy away from what should have been going into my writing. I figured, after a year I could take stock and see if my break should continue.

Now, there have been automated posts in that time. (This post will generate an automated Tweet, unless that broke and I didn’t notice.) And I’ve used DMs to communicate with a few people where that’s their preference. I’ve even read posts or threads that someone has pointed out via IM or linked to from elsewhere. But I’ve stayed away from the scroll, stayed away from manual posting.

How has it been?

Pretty good, actually. I don’t miss the scroll as much as I thought I would. I do miss sharing pictures I think others will enjoy (I continue to take pictures of snails in my neighborhood), and I still sometimes find myself thinking in 140-character chunks. Less so recently, which is nice.

I haven’t written more. A lot less, actually, but I don’t feel it necessarily has a lot to do with my Twitter break. (It might, though!) My idea file continues to grow faster than my actually-written file. My compulsive phon-poking has merely moved away from Twitterific to other apps, but that’s not terribly disappointing, even if it should be.

It’s true that I’ve felt out of the loop more than one time, but I’m cultivating my JOMO and I’m still angry enough at the terrible politics that Twitter amplifies that I’m staying off for now. I miss it, but less than I thought I would.