Saturday, 17 September 2011

On the Internet and leaving twitter

I deleted my twitter account a week ago. That may or may not be a permanent thing, I haven't decided yet. If I do return I think the way I use it will be different.

I was getting very frustrated by it on a fairly regular basis. And a few people were asking overly personal questions (including where I'd be when) which made me very uncomfortable. Last Friday in an in person conversation completely unrelated to twitter, a comment was made which made me stop and think. It was about putting myself first. I'm not very good at that. It's strange because I can leave CAB clients problems behind when I leave the bureau easily. But with friends and online I'm really not good at that and there are lots of times when I take on and try to help others who when it comes down to it wouldn't or couldn't do the same for me. Cutting out twitter was something I'd been thinking about for a while and it seemed like the best and quickest way to start putting myself first more often. Not least because for some time I had been wondering if the situation was making my depression and anxiety worse.

It's not just the putting myself first though. It's the fact that I don't make money from this blog but there were tweeters who regularly reposted any blog link I shared in such a way that their business branding showed up on top of my layout - meaning they were making money from MY blog. And the demands to retweet this that and the other all the time and people having a go at me when I asked them not to spam my mentions with those. For me twitter has lost it's fun aspect.

Online friendship is a strange thing. I have a couple of very good friends I first met online (through the NaNo forums) who I regularly spend time with. Others I occasionally meet up with. And a couple who I've known for years, email and IM with regularly but have never met. But you can never know someone who you meet quickly online is who and what they say they are. Or that things are as they seem. Twitter is a prime example of that.

A couple of months ago I tweeted that I was considering moving to a new twitter account. People who followed me but never interacted with me said they'd miss me and didn't want me to do that. I never heard from them again so they can't have valued my tweets that much. The tweet in which I announced my leaving twitter was up for a couple of days before I deleted my account. Two people out of the 500 who followed me queried it and as far as I know only one person noticed I'd deleted my account and tried to find out why. Obviously, not everyone will have seen that tweet, others would have seen it on Facebook and I told a couple of people. Interestingly none of the three were the ones I'd gone out of my way to help, who'd made a big deal about us being friends or who months ago had said they'd miss me. I take that as a sign that deciding to take time away and put myself first was the right decision.

I'm much more productive without twitter I'm finding as it frees time up. I do miss it in someways but tellingly it's not the disability side of it I miss. I miss the writing bits I had, and the news headlines popping up and a few specific people, mostly those I called friends in whatever way before twitter. And of course the humour feeds like Queen_UK which was always good for a giggle.

For now I'm not going back. In the future, maybe. That's the best I can say at the moment.


green_knight said...

I'm sad that leaving Twitter works for you - I like having updates on my friends' lives - but if it makes you uncomfortable or feels like a timesink/like you have to make an effort, then it's the right choice for you.

The reblogging thing makes me sad. I'm sure there are people who congratulate themselves on having found another source of income; but this is not a victimless crime. (I hate advertising on blogs; I won't have it on mine because a) I want to remain editorially independent, and b) I've seen the kind of adverts that google serves as soon as you talk about writing and publishing: Publish America and other scammers; and I don't want to give them exposure on my blog.

The Goldfish said...

Well, I will miss you on Twitter, but I didn't see your tweet because I so often find the thing utterly overwhelming - and I only follow about 140 people, some of whom are very quiet. I often think about culling contacts to my favourite people so I can follow what's going on, but I do value those contacts, even people I only occasionally interact with. It's something that helps me feel in the loop, at least a bit, when I'm not able to do very much at all.

However, I sympathise entirely and there have been several periods where I have stayed away from Twitter for months - at one point, I forgot about the whole thing for 18 months! I'm kind of hoping that you won't be gone forever, but I certainly hope you enjoy the break. :-)

KimbellyBull said...

Hey beautiful,

I'd been away from twitter myself and was sad to find you'd gone. I'll still "follow" you here, you're a great person and your blog is meaningful and from the heart.

If leaving twitter means you take better care of yourself then I'm all for it. I hope it helps as I know you've been battling a lot of issues from all sides recently. I'm glad you're taking time for you.

I hope that you're doing well since the casts came off. Sending lots of love and hugs.

Take care,

Kimberley xxx

Ruth Madison said...

Oh, I hope that it's okay for me to post links to your posts sometimes on twitter. I'm not making money from you blog or anything like that. I just enjoy sharing great articles with my followers. Let me know if that bothers you!

Duncan @ trabasack said...

I experimented with a link shortener that added our logo and a link to our site and twitter, fb page etc at the top. I'm sorry if it bothered you. I wish you had let me know, I have would have immediately stopped tweeting your links. I am experimental and was trying a new way of getting our product out there and connecting with new people. I have stopped using it. I had absolutely no intention to cause upset or feelings of exploitation. Big mistake on my part. I had no idea and apologise.

kabie said...

I noticed you'd gone and missed you. Glad you're ok, didn't see your goodbye tweet and was concerned.


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