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Why I Gave Up Twitter


I gave up Twitter this morning. I deleted my account. I no longer exist in the Twittersphere. I feel free.

Going cold turkey was hard, but it’s for the best. There are better, less annoying, more fun ways to network, share links and spout wisdom. I’m going to use those instead. RSS was invented so people could broadcast information to subscribers. I’m sick of letting Twitter own my conversations when I have my own channels.


I’m sick of trying to extract virtue from 140-character snippets of people’s lives. I’m sick of feeling like I have to follow someone or they’ll think I don’t value their opinion. I’m sick of people following me just so I’ll follow them.

I’m sick of brands using Twitter as an indication of what I think of them. I’m sick of companies thinking they can interrupt my conversations and engage me just because I mention their product. If they really did care, they’d treat me like a friend. They’d ask me before there was a problem and make a serious attempt to find out what I want. They’d value my time more than they valued theirs. Twitter lets them eavesdrop and lets them go to sleep at night believing they actually give a shit. I refuse to let them have it that easy.

I’m sick of wasting time. I’m sick of the overload. I’m sick of missing the beautiful trees because the forest got in the way.

I’m sick of trying to be the first, the smartest, the coolest, the most popular. I’m sick of everyone else trying to be the first, the smartest, the coolest, the most popular.

I’m sick of Twitter. And I feel much better without it. Give it up, even for just a week. I guarantee you’ll feel better too.

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11 Responses to Why I Gave Up Twitter

  1. That’s a shame, as after reading this post, I think you’re the sort of person I would follow.

    But I do know what you mean. However (except for the 140 character limit) aren’t those issues with Twitter also prevalent in other forms of social media?

    In defence of brands that get involved in conversations, don’t brands have to start a conversation with you in order to have a chance at being your friend?

  2. Nathan Bush says:

    Well said. I was just starting to wonder whether the time invested = benefits. Might take you up on the challenge.

  3. Kelly says:

    Phew! I managed it with facebook and never looked back. But Twitter I think will be hard. Maybe I’m not using it to serve my ego/self-esteem needs. Or maybe I’m in denial! Isn’t recognising that one of the first steps to recovery?

  4. Ben Tortora says:

    Brillant Maslow diagram. That was the highlight of the post for me.

    The type of highlight that could be shared on Twitter….

  5. leon says:

    I think itโ€™s often forgotten that the underlying question twitter asks is “what are you doing?” and the idea that a network of people jotting down snippets of their day is a great tool in keeping a close eye on what relevant industry professionals and friends around you are doing. However, what you mention above about the ‘First’, ‘Smartest’ and ‘Coolest’.. is unfortunately very true. Twitter is becoming less about what a person is doing and more about the perception they’re trying to portray to the community around them.

  6. Yolanda says:

    I can see how Twitter could become all consuming if you let it but I think its a great way to spout your random ideas and see what my friends are saying. I don’t feel like I would offend anyone if I didn’t follow them so I have no plans to kick my Twitter habit anytime soon!

  7. Nick says:

    I rarely post, but I often do so in frustration or if I find something others might find useful.

    I find if you follow the correct twitter accounts its a useful news tool and information tool other than just following random personal people and seeing what they had for lunch. I find I usually un-follow people who post useless personal information and just follow the business/website twitter accounts.

  8. Zac Martin says:

    Wow, that’s a big move, one I couldn’t make. Lately I’ve been getting a lot out of Twitter but I think each and every point you make is something that has concerned me at one point.

    What implications, if any, does this have from your agency’s point of view? Can you consult about Twitter without being on Twitter?

  9. @Nathan McDonald: Twitter is unique in that a lot of people seem to use it as an instant messaging service and when you’re talking about following dozens of conversations, it all gets too much. Brands should definitely start conversations with their customers, but I think Twitter makes many of them lazy. It’s too easy to set up an alert and think you’re engaging, when you really should be concentrating on your customer service.

    @Kelly: I’m surprised you lasted without Facebook! I actually like Facebook now that I’ve conditioned my friends not to expect me to reply in a hurry!

    @Ben: Share the graph on Twitter if you like, I just won’t see it ๐Ÿ™‚

    @leon: Twitter seems to have turned from a friendly ‘what I’m doing’ update into an instant messaging free-for-all; there’s to much noise

    @Yolanda: None of my friends really use Twitter for personal reasons, it had just become a load of business clutter. If all my friends were on Twitter it would be a different story…

    @Zac Martin: As they say on Sister Act; “You don’t have to bite the cookie to know it’s sweet…” Or in this case, sour. There are circumstances where people should definitely tweet, and contrary to some other commentators, I think politicians who use it as a one-way broadcast medium are doing the right thing. You run into problems when you start trying to reply to everyone and you break the unspoken engagement social media pact when someone doesn’t get a response.

  10. Jye Smith says:

    Well, I’ll miss you. But it’s not like your dead. Good move, bold move. The best moves are.

  11. I also just read this piece from Fred Wilson, who calls the status update “the ultimate social gesture”.

    Food for thought.

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