Goodbye to Twitter and Its Toddler King
I joined Twitter in January 2011 to gather travel info. I was planning a seven-month round-the-world trip (#RTW) with my new wife, and I’d heard it was a good way to get firsthand intel and chat with travelers.
At the time, I didn’t understand how Twitter was different than Facebook except that it was faster and full of strangers. Turns out, that’s exactly what made it so good, so bad, so …… everything.
I haven’t been able to look away since. I don’t understand people who “never got into Twitter.” How can you not want to look at a real, live, beating heart? Why wouldn’t you want to know everything before anyone else does?
When Twitter was good, it was good. I’m talking @dril Twitter, live-sports Twitter, Election Night Twitter, earthquake Twitter. (If you don’t live in earthquake territory, imagine feeling a jolt and no matter where you are or what you’re doing, jumping on Twitter and within seconds feeling both affirmation that you did, in fact, feel that, plus a sense of everyone showing up at the same surprise party all at once.)
The bird app holds value beyond that new-new, too. I did meet #RTW friends on Twitter way back when. And I’ve met legit IRL friends there since. I’ve found many of my favorite creators; I’ve learned and been challenged to my core; I’ve cried from both laughter and grief; I’ve watched and encouraged revolutions.
But for several years, Twitter has been more of a negative than positive force in my life, causing flare-ups of anger and anxiety, plus a shameful amount of distraction from things that matter more. I’ve tried deleting the app, logging out, setting timers, and protecting my tweets. Nothing sticks.
This time, it sticks. I’m quitting, suspending my account*, and not coming back.
The difference between then and now: