Why I Quit Twitter

Why I Quit Twitter

I am no longer a Twitter user and I think most people should not be either. After several years and thousands of tweets, I deleted the account without much fanfare. I was not an influential user, so quitting has no impact on the site, but I think I’m on a wave of exits that is picking up steam.

It’s Not Useful Anymore

Twitter used to be where you could find out about interesting topics and engage with people about them, but that’s mostly gone away now. I don’t think it’s as robust as a technical think space as it used to be, and I think most of the engagement is being geared towards Culture War 2.0 which I don’t have any interest with on either side. If something upsets me the last thing I want to do is get involved with it and spend my day thinking about tit-for-tat exchanges with total strangers. It doesn’t change anything anyway and is just as much of a waste of time as it is on FaceBook. Social media should be helpful, not divisive, and I think it is going down this path because outrage culture is profitable on both sides.

I’m also finding it harder and harder to distinguish what is real and what is just bait, so I decided to pay for my news going forward. I suggest everyone to subscribe to a digital version of your local newspaper. That is actual journalism that affects you locally and we need a free and open press now more than ever.

Too Much Baggage

My thousands of tweets makes me wonder if I said something that could be used against me in the future. I’ve always been careful what I comment on but I don’t need anything hanging over me and taken out of context. There’s no free and easy way to wholesale delete your tweets so the only way forward is to just delete your account altogether. For the most part, I used Twitter to promote my blog and comment on news and trends. I’d rather not promote the blog, more visits just costs me more in hosting fees and there is no revenue path on blogs anymore without making them trashy.

I really feel sorry for people who let Twitter derail their lives. A local athlete who was college bound and held professional aspirations let his Twitter account get out of hand and he was ostracized for it. I can tell you this, my children won’t have social media that I know about. They don’t need something they’ll regret years from now creeping up on them, especially when they’re not mature enough or reasoned enough to understand the consequences of what they are sharing. Plus the bullying and exposure to predators makes me want to keep that door closed as long as possible.

Rewires The Brain

After I quit Twitter, I found myself composing tweets to share even though I had no account. I even thought of composing a tweet to announce I was quitting Twitter after the account was officially deleted! I think composing everything in 140, and then 280 characters, might’ve temporarily rewired my brain. I didn’t even realize it until I no longer had it as an outlet. Although I was rarely engaged in any meaningful way on the service, and often felt I was shouting into the void, it clearly had an effect on me. I’ll admit I no longer think in this pattern, I’ve realized how odd and silly that ended up being, but I wonder if other people experience the same thing and they’re better off dumping it too.

Time Suck

I used to access Twitter for breaking news but obviously I don’t do that anymore. I found myself looking at my phone way too much during the day to see what the trending topic was and what was being said about it. Like I said before, sometimes the trending topic was outrage bait and sometimes it wasn’t anything real at all. The thing is, these companies don’t care if your social media addiction costs you a relationship or even a job. They want your eyeballs, why give it to them? They are way too greedy with our time and frankly I don’t have enough time to give it to them anyway. This can be said about most other things though. Honestly, I am taking a hard look at my iPhone in general and my screen time. Maybe Twitter was just the first to go and more are upcoming. Sometimes a Light Phone doesn’t look that bad.


Do I miss Twitter? Sometimes. I’m not sure I’ll ever go back to it even if it goes back to being the service it used to be. Every once in awhile I’ll pop on the website and see what is trending, and of course it is trash, so I think I am right to stay away. I don’t have a log in anymore so I can’t go any further than that first page. I do miss NBA Twitter though and how funny and brutal it could be, but I’ve also found Reddit communities to be as interesting and the news shared on the technology sub-reddits and Hacker News to be as good, if not better than what Twitter could provide. I hope I’ve not traded one for the other, although I suspect that I did in some way.