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.