21 votes

You really need to quit Twitter

11 comments

  1. cloud_loud
    (edited )
    Link
    I was skeptical of reading this considering that Flanagan tends to be conservative, so I wasn't sure where her argument would come from. But, it's a good read, and it's just her personal battle...

    I was skeptical of reading this considering that Flanagan tends to be conservative, so I wasn't sure where her argument would come from. But, it's a good read, and it's just her personal battle with her Twitter addiction.

    A few things I wanted to comment on; Flanagan is nearly 60, as she says a few times throughout, so it's interesting to get the perspective of an older person who is "Extremely Online." Usually, when we think about people being Extremely Online, we usually think about teenagers or people in their 20s. But I have seen my fair share of older people picking up Twitter and being obsessed with it. I always thought it was a bit odd, so I'm happy that I get to read a little bit more about it directly from someone that age.

    I found this paragraph to be highly relatable:

    Every thought, every experience, seems to be reducible to this haiku, and my mind is instantly engaged by the challenge of concision. Once the line is formed, why not put it out there? Twitter is a red light, blinking, blinking, blinking, destroying my ability for private thought, sucking up all my talent and wit.

    I don't know how many of you have been addicted to Twitter, but this is completely true. My thoughts were shortened and I couldn't stop thinking in abbreviations like "lol" and "ngl." When I would try to write during this time it felt almost impossible, I would constantly type out lol for character dialogue just out of force of habit.

    In the article she also mentions this:

    after about a week I wanted back in. I knew the place was still hopping, because friends would email me updates that drove me wild with the need to comment.

    Last year, when I was using Twitter a lot, I decided to take a "break" but would still keep in touch with a Twitter friend, through text, and they would tell me about all the drama that was going on. This same friend also took a break later on, and they asked me for all the drama that was happening. This isn't quitting Twitter, you're still holding onto your addiction by doing this. The whole point of leaving Twitter, or taking a break from Twitter, should be to disconnect from all the nonsense that happens on there every day.

    She also says that she was able to focus on reading a book immediately after leaving Twitter, which is odd because it took me months to build up my attention span.

    That's all I'll comment on for the article.

    As a side note, Tildes has really helped me reverse this type of thinking, thanks to the long-form articles, and the comments that are longer than anything I've ever seen on Reddit.

    Edit: I wanted to add one more thing, I think we’re gonna get an influx of these types of article as the world returns to something resembling normal. The pandemic probably drove many people into the comforts of the internet and now they’re realizing the damage this has caused.

    18 votes
  2. teaearlgraycold
    Link
    I only recently started using Twitter. The company I joined a few months ago was founded on principles of building-in-public (the founders tweet revenue and retention numbers regularly), so they...

    I only recently started using Twitter. The company I joined a few months ago was founded on principles of building-in-public (the founders tweet revenue and retention numbers regularly), so they recommend everyone create an account for personal branding and networking. That puts me in a very small group of utilitarian Twitter users, but we exist.

    There was also a phase where I used Reddit pretty much exclusively to learn how to code Python. I made Reddit bots to help with subreddit moderation (ELI5 being the largest). That was a long time ago, so I ended up leaving Reddit this year. Without that positive mode of interaction the site was a purely negative influence.

    So you can get a lot of good out of these sites. Just don't use them how they're intended to be used.

    10 votes
  3. [2]
    asoftbird
    Link
    Depends on what you do on the platform. All l do is post birds, talk about developing my bird bots & art, and socialize with friends. Most news related words are muted; l don't follow any news...

    Depends on what you do on the platform. All l do is post birds, talk about developing my bird bots & art, and socialize with friends. Most news related words are muted; l don't follow any news accounts either.
    For me Twitter is just a place full of cool art, birds and people to talk with. l met most of my current online friends on twitter!

    Effectively, if you curate your spaces (which is easy on twitter due to its muted word system) you can tailor the website to your needs.

    9 votes
    1. hook
      Link Parent
      That is what I do as well, but for specific gaming. My Twitter account is primarily bound to my Switch, since that is (was) the easiest (and least privacy-messy) way to get screenshots and...

      That is what I do as well, but for specific gaming. My Twitter account is primarily bound to my Switch, since that is (was) the easiest (and least privacy-messy) way to get screenshots and recordings into the public. I don’t follow anything else (or much at all really), and I just “enjoy” the filter bubble.

      That being said, even within the bubble I do see that the μ-blog format (short, ephemeral, non-searchable, “if you missed it you’re too late”) is prone to quick quips instead of thought through writing, so I still very much dislike it.

      The way I see Twitter is a burning pile of garbage just begging everyone to be a stabby bastard, but in that vast landfill of quips and memes, there’re small refugee camps where people try to make the best of it and comfort each other.

      6 votes
  4. feigneddork
    Link
    I can definitely resonate with this in the past, but with both Twitter and Reddit. For Reddit, my head was filled with responses, memes, and takedowns to posts I had read earlier. I was almost...

    I can definitely resonate with this in the past, but with both Twitter and Reddit.

    For Reddit, my head was filled with responses, memes, and takedowns to posts I had read earlier. I was almost desperate to find a "new" thread that seemed promising with comments so I could post some quick witted reply and get all that karma.

    With Twitter, I was pretty much obsessed with dictating every little bit of my personal life on that platform, as well as cracking jokes to other Twitter folks with a high Twitter following so I could get some acknowledgement.

    I definitely know Reddit's hooks are completely gone. If I go on Reddit, I end up using a third party Reddit website like libredd.it or teddit.net as it is a read-only version of Reddit (which ironically loads faster and has less of the questionable features Reddit has of late).

    Twitter I'm convinced still has some hooks in me, but it's nowhere near as bad as it used to be in my early twenties. Turns out working on your insecurities does help you in these things (but only to a certain amount). Since I have PKU (phenylketonuria) and there is a great community on Twitter for PKU, I don't think I'll leave Twitter any time soon - just learn to moderate my time with it.

    The new one in my life is TikTok, but I'm becoming aware at how much time I spend on it and I'm trying to control that time. Although it's becoming a bit easier as my feed has become a series of depressing videos about shitty online behaviour - not something I want to be elbow deep in.

    It's funny to think that there was times where I couldn't even watch Netflix or play a game on my PS4 without being distracted by social media, but that is how they are designed as the author says.

    6 votes
  5. hungariantoast
    Link
    Just to be clear, this "interruption of the formation of thoughts" isn't exclusive to Twitter. I bet it happens to just about anyone sufficiently invested in just about any social media site....

    Twitter hacked itself so deep into my circuitry that it interrupted the very formation of my thoughts. Twenty years of journalism taught me to hit a word count almost without checking the numbers at the bottom of the screen. But now a corporation that operates against my best interests has me thinking in 280 characters. Every thought, every experience, seems to be reducible to this haiku, and my mind is instantly engaged by the challenge of concision.

    Just to be clear, this "interruption of the formation of thoughts" isn't exclusive to Twitter. I bet it happens to just about anyone sufficiently invested in just about any social media site.

    Yesterday I must have read a dozen different articles about Biden's recent executive order, and the entire time I was judging each article, trying to determine which one would be the best to post to Tildes. Is the article too long? Does it cover all the right details? Is the headline okay, or would it need to be changed or swapped for another? What tags should I use?


    I do think Twitter's character limit is stupid though, Imgur's too, but "microblogging" itself doesn't have to be awful. With a higher word count and a lack of for-profit motives, Mastodon, for instance, is a wonderful place to be on the web. I've come to enjoy participating there just as much as Tildes, and I don't think it's a coincidence that almost every former-user here that I really liked, is now primarily active on Mastodon.

    6 votes
  6. [5]
    JXM
    Link
    I removed Tweetbot (my Twitter client of choice) from my phone/computer/tablet about three months ago and my life is better for it. I mostly used it to follow technology and movie news. While I...

    I removed Tweetbot (my Twitter client of choice) from my phone/computer/tablet about three months ago and my life is better for it.

    I mostly used it to follow technology and movie news. While I might miss an upcoming movie that I'd otherwise be excited about, the upside has been fantastic. I don't have to worry about following whatever the daily drama is or why everyone is piling onto someone today.

    I've checked Twitter maybe 4 or 5 times in the last month and it was only because I wanted to see a specific Tweet.

    5 votes
    1. [2]
      eve
      Link Parent
      I've had a similar experience after deleting the app from my phone! I check on it every now and again just to see if my favorite artists have posted new work but that's it. The mentality on...

      I've had a similar experience after deleting the app from my phone! I check on it every now and again just to see if my favorite artists have posted new work but that's it. The mentality on Twitter feels very much like no one can do any good, and everything is sinister. While it's fine to look at things with a critical eye, to pick apart every little aspect of something until there's nothing left, isn't. It was genuinely, emotionally exhausting for me to see how much drama and outrage there was all the time.

      6 votes
      1. JXM
        Link Parent
        Exactly. I can spend that mental energy on other things, like actually enjoying films or music rather than reading about the drama surrounding it.

        It was genuinely, emotionally exhausting for me to see how much drama and outrage there was all the time.

        Exactly. I can spend that mental energy on other things, like actually enjoying films or music rather than reading about the drama surrounding it.

        4 votes
    2. [2]
      cloud_loud
      Link Parent
      As someone who also likes to follow movie news, I tend to visit Deadline, The Hollywood Reporter, and Variety quite a bit. I also have notifications on my Apple News app for all of those publications.

      As someone who also likes to follow movie news, I tend to visit Deadline, The Hollywood Reporter, and Variety quite a bit. I also have notifications on my Apple News app for all of those publications.

      1 vote
      1. JXM
        Link Parent
        I did like following niche film and video distributors like Severn, Diabolick, and Scream Factory, as well as a few directors that are more niche and probably wouldn’t warrant mention in bigger...

        I did like following niche film and video distributors like Severn, Diabolick, and Scream Factory, as well as a few directors that are more niche and probably wouldn’t warrant mention in bigger publications.