I’ve tweeted 10,000 times. I think I’m done with Twitter.
*Ahem* Hello. I love Twitter. I’ve been on it for 10 years this November (here’s my first tweet; I thought hard for about two hours before I committed to that bold statement) and — as of right now — I’ve tweeted 9,999 times. I also haven’t looked at my Twitter timeline in exactly a week.
This seems like a nice, rounded out time to finally acknowledge what I’ve suspected for about a year now: I think I’m done with Twitter.
I took the app off my home screen and removed it from my desktop dock last Thursday night. The catalyst was the #WomenBoycottTwitter movement the next day, which many people lectured me was pointless and ineffective, and no I don’t really have the energy to argue about it, but the point is I decided to step away from Twitter in solidarity with my fellow females — but I’d been meaning to step away for a while, and since then I haven’t looked back.
This is a tired old cliche at this point, but Twitter really changed for me after the election last year (you know, The Election™). I’ve always used it as an escape from the real world: weird people telling stupid jokes, funny takes on bad TV, ridiculously unnecessary commentary on the latest unnecessary tech thing… you know. I also got my first great job via a Twitter DM, met most of my best friends on Twitter (there are many examples, but the craziest one is Greg, who I randomly started following in 2008 because he was live tweeting a campus shooting and then he ended up becoming one of my closest friends even though he lives in Kentucky), and I met my husband at a tweetup (true story).
But now — and I’m not the first person to say this — the real world feels like an escape from Twitter. I don’t need to explain this to you. You get it. I had suspected this, like I said, for a long time. This week off Twitter confirmed it.
It turns out that I miss nothing by not being on Twitter. I still get the news (I just don’t get the useless and hysterical commentary). I still talk to my friends (and honestly, we’ve been talking *more* because I’m actively attempting to connect with them instead of just liking a tweet I barely read). I still laugh a lot (at, you know, real things). I still see all the ~~~memes~~~ (I’ve been using Reddit instead). And at this point, I can’t remember why it ever seemed like such a vital part of my life.
I know I can’t convince any of you to stop looking at Twitter. I know that’s asking a lot. I love so many things about Twitter. It can be great. But (right now at least) it’s not good for me. So in honor of my 10,000th tweet, here are some tips you didn’t ask for and that you probably won’t heed on staying sane in this horrific age of misinformation, nonstop connectivity, and groupthink.
- You do NOT need constant updates.
- You will get the important news whether you look for it or not.
- RTs don’t mean you’re right.
- Someone arguing with you doesn’t mean you’re wrong.
- You don’t have to waste your time arguing with someone who is wrong.
- You can’t always change someone else’s mind (and in the real world, that is okay).
- Uninformed hysteria will not help you or anyone around you.
- Putting your phone down and looking at your loved ones feels amazing.
- You can change the world by voting, and volunteering, and donating. You will wish you had spent more time doing these things than tweeting.
- You matter. Being kind matters. There are many, many people in the world who think that you deserve everything.
In closing: I’ll probably (?) still tweet occasionally, but just in case even that winks out to nothing, I’ll leave you with one more beautiful highlight from my time on Twitter (a selection from all the many times I’ve tweeted about Twitter itself):