Earlier this week for the first time since I joined the service, I deactivated my Twitter account. In recent weeks, I’ve waded through a lot of bullcrap thrown at me from people because of some of the articles I published on the Tavern.
Last Saturday evening, as I was enjoying my weekend, I opened Twitter to see what people are up too. I read a response aimed at me for one of the articles I published and it immediately enraged me. I responded back the best way I could but I was livid. It took me an hour to calm down. Other interactions have led to me feeling nauseated or exhausted because I don’t have the energy to defend my thoughts and opinions.
Then on Monday, I had a brief interaction with some folks and that was the last straw. I needed to take a break because I was ready to unleash vitriol and anger at some people and it would have turned into a disaster. This is when I decided I needed to get away from Twitter for at least two weeks.
The minute I deactivated my account, I felt a sense of relief, as if a weight was lifted off of my chest. I no longer had to worry about what replies I’d see that would trigger a severe emotional reaction.
Since deactivating my account, I’ve notice a couple of things. I like to use Twitter to fire off thoughts and opinions that I have at the moment partly to archive them and partly to engage in conversations with people. This week, there have been several instances where I take out my phone, open the Twitter app to publish a thought and realize I can’t. So, I tweet it in my head where it’s probably better that way.
One of the other major changes I’ve noticed is that I feel like I’ve gotten a chunk of my daily life back. Twitter is an important part of my job and I spend a large amount of time on the service every day looking for stories and talking to people in public and private. I sort of miss bookmarking things and reading what people are saying about a particular subject, but it’s been refreshing not having it in my daily routine anymore.
I feel so good after a week without Twitter that I’ve been thinking about abandoning the service for good since I can request my archive. However, it’s too important for how I work so I can’t do that.
What I plan on doing when I come back is unfollowing the people who trigger severe emotional reactions. Delete the app from my phone and only look at and use Twitter during the times when I’m working. I’ll also stop tweeting ideas and opinions on Twitter because it doesn’t give me enough characters to explain the WHY and allow me to add tone. I’m sick of defending myself and the only way to stop giving everyone ammo is to shut up. The good old personal blog will be getting more use in the future.