After few months feeling bad with Twitter, I've finally decided to quit. Instead of technical point of view I will focus on my feelings - because that's what matters the most.
Before I started this article, I read I Quit Twitter And My Life Got Better. Here's Why I'm Going Back. In the article Lauren describes what was it like to have 1 week without Twitter and why she got back. If you use Twitter, I recommend you reading it. There are some great insights on autopilot behavior.
Now here is my story...
I felt bad using Twitter last few months. I wasn't sure if I really want to quit Twitter.
- I un-followed people down to zero.
- I limited my time there to 10 minutes in the evening.
- I tried different approach for Tweets and retweets:
- pools to engage with followers
- retweet the most popular Tweets from the past
- mention multiple people
- use 5+ hashtags
- add 1 to 5 images
- I talked with friends how do they enjoy Twitter.
- I requested feedback from marketing expert to my Tweets.
- I tried using services to automate like Buffer (thank you Tomáš Fejfar for the tip) or Twitter API PHP packages.
I really tried, but none of these made me feel significantly better. So last experiment: I quit.
Interesting. This is very similar to my approach to crisis in relationships.
What were those deal breakers that tear us apart?
Every like made me happy. Every retweet made happier three-times. I only wanted to invest just a little attention, so I refocused on numbers instead of content. It's like trying to build a deep connection with somebody having only a 20 minutes a day. This frustrated me a lot, because I prefer working on content over collecting numbers.
I talked about my addiction with Petr Vácha and my intentions to quit, and he suggested me to use it only once a day. I tried it for few days and it was great. I got higher dopamine shots in the end of the day.
The only issue for me was I had to focus to not to think on Twitter throughout the whole day. It was like starving the whole day to eat once in the evening. It worked technically, but it didn't feel right. I could spend 5 minutes on 10 social networks and spend less than hour, but I want to enjoy this by heart, not by my inner computer.
I know I can't do something for only 50 %. I either do it close to 100 % or go another way.
- I planed Tweets for one per day, so I won't spam.
- I retweeted Tweets I found interesting.
- I've added images, hashtags.
- I have read many how-to-tweet articles.
- I tweeted only valuable and positive stuffs. Not in relation to reality, really.
Few month later I realized I'm turning into news machine. So I asked my followers, how do you use Twitter?
I found there are many news channel that already cover this field.
Second, I found I have reactive-response syndrome: for every message I have to have an answer. It's close to fear of missing out.
That included conversations under tweets, checking Twitter often for new answers, and trials to explain complex problems and miss-understandings under 140 characters.
Twitter innovated its service maybe twice since I used it, not much news. Also social adaptions is slow - not many new people are joining Twitter.
I was trying to find fun in service that didn't gave it to me. It's like seeking a passion in relationship with woman I'm not attracted to.
What I like about Facebook, Github or PHPStorm is that they evolve and innovate. Sometimes I like it, sometimes I don't, but I know they are trying to be better.
If Twitter was a person, it would be fearful virgin in his 30ties sticking to first job with no girlfriend.
140 limit for Tweet is fine, but I want to get deeper. I also don't like random Tweet stream: one day 50 tweets, other day 5. What the hell, man? That's so schizophrenic.
I love system, regularity and predictability. This is the best way to educate constantly in certain speed.
That's why I switched from Tweetdeck-hashtag-group-following based to regular newsletter one in last year.
I started to follow:
- PHP Annotated Monthly from JetBrains (PHPStorm guys)
- PHP Weekly
- Měsíčník pro Péhápkaře
- The Open Circle
- Jan Růžička - Týden v Médiích (in the bottom)
- Pink Cast
And it's much better.
Leo Babauta happily dropped Twitter in 2013. In Simplify the internet he wrotes:
If you’re going to do Facebook, don’t do other ones too. You can quit Twitter and Instagram. Really you can!
Reading this first time in December, I felt it's the right thing to do, yet brain was opposing with "that is insane!".
My great inspiration from polyphasic sleep days Steve Pavlina got social media dumped hard.
I basically asked myself which scenario seemed best over the next 10 years — going social media-free vs. continuing to use it.
Followed by a year later reflection.
I love social experiments. After polyphasic sleep, switching main job focus after 8 years, having a baby while being infertile, dropping from university, moving to Prague after settling down in Brno, dropping LinkedIn and moving completely alone for the first time, I really look forward to this one.
See contact page.
I've already asked, why and what social networks do you use. Now, I would like to know, have you made any social network experiment? How did it go? Did you like that?
I look forward to your answers!