Derek Tillotson

Killing Twitter

I'm leaving social media. All of it. Finally. Last year, I cut down on my Twitter usage. I deleted my Reddit account. I got rid of Instagram. And I left LinkedIn. Basically, I distanced myself from almost all social media use. But with Twitter still there, I kept falling back into the groove of over-using social media, especially Twitter.

Twitter has been tough to deal with. I have an emotional attachment to the service--I've been using it for more than a third of my life (which is scary to think about). That attachment is a major reason why it's time for me to call it quits.

Over the past year, I've found that I am noticably happier and more productive when I am abstaining from social media, excess video consumption, long video game sessions, and watching/reading the news. There's plenty of value in all those things (not so much the news, though), but my mind keeps going back to a TED talk I saw a few years ago, by a fellow named Cal Newport.

Cal discusses why he's never used social media and the negative effects it has on people--especially from an emotional and psychological perspective. Every few months, I end up back into heavy Twitter use and I catch myself understanding what he's saying. But I've never taken action on the call.

Last year, when I quit LinkedIn, people were telling me that I need the service to get a job these days and it's the only way to connect with employers. I've never once regretted my decision to delete my account, and I'm much more invested when I apply for work now, as it motivates me to customize my resume.

I've received similar warnings when it comes to leaving Twitter. This time, however, the warnings are coming from myself.

I always try to trust my guy when it comes to things like this. As far as I can tell, that instincy has never led me down a path I've come to regret (though overthinking has). And every time I ponder leaving social media for good, my gut yells "DO IT!" while my brain says "No! You'll lose all you worked for!" But really, what's there? A few hundred followers, most of whom I don't interact with with any regularity.

It may not be forever, but if I do use social media again, it'll be for a specific purpose and in a specific way. The personal life stuff will remain either here or on my PrivateEyeball blog. Or any other projects I may launch in the future.

Written April 6, 2020

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