I Deleted Twitter

I’ve left the sky where the Tweets fly. Good-bye, Twitter. On April 26, 2022, I deleted my ten-year old Twitter account. Previously, when I had deleted Instagram or Facebook – all other social media – I always held onto Twitter. But now I’ve let it go for good.

Among social media sites, I had kept my second Twitter account since 2012. I had one before that, started circa 2009, but I trashed it at some point when I nuked all social media from orbit.

Why I kept my long-running Twitter account over the years despite deleting other social media was for various reasons.

  1. I liked the simplicity of Twitter. It has far fewer features than Facebook.
  2. It’s almost entirely about text, which is nice for a writer/blogger.
  3. I was always a casual user and had no trouble with Twitter trolls or bots for years.
  4. I did not get addicted to it…until recently.

Since the ills of Twitter are pretty much common knowledge, I don’t need to detail them here. I’ll just throw out some typical terms associated with the platform: vitriol, dumpster fire, doom-scrolling, and virtue-signaling. The more I used Twitter in recent months, the more I experienced these negatives.

There are, of course, other issues with the service. I talked about some of my personal problems with Twitter, like addiction, in recent posts here and here.

So I logged off Twitter and waited a week or so. Absent the clamor of tweets, my brain began to feel calm. Then Elon Musk bought (or is buying) Twitter, which…who knows!? So I decided it was time to delete it altogether and put it behind me. I don’t want to get drawn back into the so-called Twitter “hellscape.”


I think our minds and attention are made worse by social media, due to both its content (misinformation, disinformation, distraction, outrage, polarization, tribalism…) and its form (short, viral, out-of-context, inflammatory, emotional, sensational, hyperbolic headlines…). I also think the mass scale of aggregated users in social media environments amplifies human misbehavior and hurts civility and democracy.

I agree with the notion that social media can have some benefits and positives. But I think the negatives outweigh those, and I think know that people can connectcommunicate, and have conversation without social media. In fact, we can have these things better without ad-revenue-based algorithms that manipulate us, both individually and collectively.

So like I said, good-bye, Twitter. (Also, I deleted my newly created Jason Journals Twitter account too.)

Are you on or off Twitter?

2 thoughts on “I Deleted Twitter

  1. That’s awesome, Jason! I’ve removed all social media except Twitter. I have to say though, the past couple of years have seen my feed change from mostly tech and coding posts to the types of things you outline in your post. I’ve been asking myself if I’m really getting anything positive out of it. Maybe I need to prune my follow list, or maybe it’s time I follow your lead and get rid of it altogether. I think starting by just logging out for a week is a great way to test the waters. Thanks for the post.

    Like

    1. Thanks, Rob 🙂

      I had done the same before, remove all SM but Twitter.

      I was thinking at first to log off for a month and if it went smoothly, then I’d delete. But I knew it was time for me. When I logged in to delete, I was quickly getting sucked into my old habit of reading tantalizing tweets, and I noticed one with a sensational headline clearly aimed to stoke emotions. I was like, “I’m outta here.”

      But let me reiterate that I quit for my own sake, and while I think we’d all be better without it, I think some people can manage it well enough for some benefit. It’s up to each person to decide.

      I’m not better than others for quitting, but I’m better off without it, if that makes sense.

      Yeah, I recommend first disengage, distance, go dormant by just logging off and deleting the phone app and/or removing bookmarks on the laptop. At first I deleted from my iPhone and just used Twitter on my MacBook. Then I logged off for a week or so. So for about a month or so I slowly eased out I guess.

      I’m sure anyone can live without Twitter, and I support your thoughtful consideration to that end, and I’ll respect whatever you decide. Do what’s best for you.

      Liked by 1 person

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