It’s been roughly six weeks since I’ve stopped using Twitter on a daily basis. I initially took a break to stay away from some anxiety inducing news, and I was initially going to return to daily use once that passed. But after hearing others on Micro.blog post about their experience closing their Twitter account, I decided to see how long I can go staying off Twitter myself.
I wouldn’t say that I am a big Twitter user. I don’t have a Twitter audience (I think my follower count is in the single digits), I hardly ever tweet or reply, and although I have a few friends and family on there, I have other means of communicating with them that I tend to use more often. The only thing I would miss are the occasional interesting or amusing tweets from those that I follow, something that is not guaranteed in any particular reading session.
In those six weeks, I notice my reading patterns have change. I’m reading a lot more books and blog posts now. I found that having something to read during the time you’re usually browsing Twitter helps a great deal, so there’s always some long form written piece that I can turn to when I’ve caught up with everything else. And although I wouldn’t say my anxiety has gone, I do think that it’s lower than it was. It’s calming to know that there are no shocking/depressing items that can jump out of me during a particular reading session. I think that mechanic has a lot to do with the addictiveness of Twitter and it’s ilk.
I’m not quite at the point where I will completely close my Twitter account, and there are some users that I may move over to Feedbin (I haven’t done that yet, so I’m not sure how interested in them I really am). But, all in all, I think this break from daily use of Twitter has been good for me, and I found myself having no real urge to going back.