Late in 2018 I deactivated my Twitter account as an experiment. Then, I wrote about the first 3 days, and then how to get around your dopamine cravings.
So, what happened then? The TL;DR is that I am not at all interested in going back to the platform.
Thirty days is long enough to kill the pangs of a 10-year addiction.
It helped that after I deactivated it, a few of the people I was really active in following and responding to began texting me via Signal and Telegram. The net result was that I stopped thinking about Twitter. You guys know who you are.
In the interim, I have rediscovered:
- The joy of blogging
- The joy of Real Life: Of actually getting things done, of having a pristine house, a garden I love, company I enjoy, and focus in the world
- Memory, and engagement, in daily things. Yes, my memory is improving. So is my daily attention-span.
I did reactivate the account and jumped online to say happy new year to people, but have left it
active dormant since then. When I dropped into it, I was actually shocked at the bland, self-serving, pernicious, and personal whining that filled the space.
Rather than totally deactivate it, however, I’ve decided to leave it open so that it automatically tweets posts from this site. But I don’t check it.
Do you want to know the most remarkable thing about not being online all the time? It’s finding how joyful the real world is, and realising how locked into devices people truly are.
Now, I read a book instead of scanning Twitter. I put real attention into real things. I can look at a device without wanting to touch it. The battery on my battered old Samsung smartphone lasts for two days between charges now, where before it would be dead in under a day.
We’ve all been hoodwinked into believing that social media is the greatest thing for promotion and connection. That may have been true in 2008 and 2009 – and I used it shamelessly for that very reason back then – but in 2018 it’s a different world, and a different game. Social media is virus, not a virtue.
And when I’ve cracked the code to the social-media-free platform, I promise to share with you what I’ve learned.
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