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Not looking at Twitter
Unsociable media

Earlier this year, I deleted Twitter from my phone. More recently, Twitter’s own actions broke my Twitter client. That same week, there was a rush of people switching to Mastodon, and I went there as well, returning to my created-ages-ago but mostly-neglected account.

I’m in 2 minds about all this.

The main reason I deleted Twitter from my phone was because I realised it was making me unhappy. Every day, several times every day, I opened it up and read tweet after tweet of rage and outrage and insult and argument. It was just a depressing experience. Removing that from my daily life felt like a good thing.

But I do miss some of it. I miss knowing what new internet things my friends have made. I miss some of the jokes. I miss seeing some of the quirkier links, to the less visited bits of the web.

That’s why I’ve not deleted my Twitter account entirely. I’m still there, just not all the time and not all that often. Now that it’s confined to my laptop, I’m dipping in occasionally — maybe 2 or 3 times a week — and reading a few dozen of the most recent posts.

So if you’re one of my friends and you’ve been posting good jokes and links, and I’ve not noticed or responded or remarked on it when we meet in the pub, I’m sorry. Now you know why.

In fairness, I’m not paying a great deal of attention to Mastodon either. But that’s easier to do, because my timeline there is generally pretty quiet.

Some people are making an effort to try writing blog posts again, and distribute thoughts via pages of HTML and feeds of RSS. This a good thing.

This is me sort-of joining in.

Update, 1 month later:

I still don’t have Twitter installed on my phone, but I’ve started using it again on my computer. I was missing the new internet things, the jokes, the links. But also I realised that abandoning Twitter is, to an extent, turning my back on a community that has helped me. That’s a bit rude.

So I’m doing some tweeting now. But my month off has made it easier for me to break a few habits. I no longer scroll back through everything that’s been posted while I was away from it. I no longer feel the need to catch up on every tweet posted while I was asleep. I’m comfortable marking everything as read, having a quick potter about for a few minutes, and going back to whatever else I was doing.


(6 Sep 2018, 4 Oct 2018)