I love Twitter. The people on it are funny. It is a great source of news. I have made some great friends on there. And it is a great place to while a few minutes when you have nothing better to do. It is basically great fun whilst being informative. And it is so easy to use. I have it set up on my phone, my iPad and quick links to it on the browser I use on my desktop and my laptop. Wherever there I have a screen I have Twitter.
The trouble is, it is just too much fun. I have found that I spend so much time on Twitter it is now stopping me from doing other things. For example I don’t read as many books as I would like. I used to read a book a week. I now rarely finish book in less than a month. I also don’t write as much as I would like to. My extended review of Gibbon’s Decline and Fall is taking so long it may well take longer to finish off than the western empire did.
So as fun as Twitter is, it stops me from doing things I want to do more. I have tried restricting myself. I started off by trying to stop using it during normal working hours. Well that sort of worked for a while. But I found myself just popping on for a quick update and not getting off again for half an hour. And I tried not allowing myself to go on it until 5.00pm in the evening. Again, this sort of worked. But if there was something I had got interested in the night before the temptation to just see how things were going the next morning was pretty irresistible.
And sometimes I just don’t have the willpower to resist it at all. My normal routine was disrupted this morning and I ended up spending 2 and half hours of prime working time on Twitter. I had no intention of staying on it for that long, but I found myself saying ‘just one more refresh’. I can stay in that limbo ‘just checking a few things on Twitter state’ for hours. And I do a lot more often than is good for me. I’d much rather spend that time doing something more worthwhile.
Because that is the trouble with Twitter. You spend time on it. You enjoy that time. But you have nothing very much to show for it. Even reading a bad book teaches you something, if only to avoid that author in future. Writing can come in handy surprisingly often in the future, and even if it doesn’t the act of writing seems to keep your brain active. Twitter doesn’t seem to have any special benefits at all. You don’t even get to keep the Tweets you write easily. You can create an archive of them, but it is rather clunky. But Twitter isn’t about building anything up. It is all about what is new. Last year’s tweets are of no interest to anyone.
The only thing it does do that is really valuable is bring you into contact with people who you wouldn’t otherwise come across. That is something that is really unique to Twitter. I shall miss it. Because from Sunday, I am giving up Twitter. I haven’t decided exactly how I am going to do it. I might keep my account going so I can get in touch with people I chat with on it. And I am mulling over creating something that will replace it – maybe a Google Plus group – where I can write short bits of stuff that is on my mind. I am still working out the details. But for now, Twexit means Twexit.