A few days before the new year, I posted a tweet.
It was meant as a playful parody of all the constant quotes we keep seeing on Twitter. Less than 140 characters of insightful commentary that we’re supposed to draw some wisdom from. Life-changing thoughts, delivered to you in a sentence or two.
The more I thought about it, however, I realized that there was something that rang true about my tweet, and it’s been working its way through the back of my mind, reshaping the way I think about social media — at least for the moment.
You see, I like to think of myself as a productive kind of guy. I run a podcasting network, have a day job that claims 40-something hours a week, and I’ve got bitten by the programming bug and spend many hours every day bettering my skills there. I also spend plenty of time talking to friends using Slack, Telegram and Facebook Messenger. I try to read a book a week, and am subscribed to about a dozen podcasts.
Obviously, something has to give for me to fit all this in. For the longest time, that thing was gaming. I used to spend about a full day every week playing World of Warcraft, and the time gained by leaving gaming behind has been incredible. But something else had to go, and it wasn’t until these past few days that I realized what that was.
It’s probably no exaggeration when I say that I used to spend many hours a day on Twitter. Whether that be thanks to the distraction when a new tweet popped up on my secondary screen, or if it’s following up on links that people posted or taking part in discussions, Twitter stole hours of time and attention away from things that I could — that I should! — be doing.
So I’m off Twitter. I’ll still be hopping in every now and again to check my mentions, but I’m no longer following up on discussions. It’s just too time-consuming and, quite frankly, I’ve got better things to take care of right now. I also likely won’t be as good at following Instagram and Facebook as I used to be either.
Don’t be a stranger, however. I still want to keep in touch with you all — just find me at one of the places mentioned above.