Saturday, November 13, 2010

Confessions of a Twitter Quitter: Why I Pulled the Plug

I mentioned earlier this week that I deleted my Twitter account. Several people have asked me if I would share why, and I thought it would be easier to just answer everyone here.

Please know that these are MY reasons. Lots of people love Twitter and I'm not out to try to change that. I'm just sharing my thoughts and my personal experience with it. If you have no idea what Twitter is then you should probably just skip this post altogether! (smile)

Here goes:

1. I really don't care what everyone is doing every minute of the day. I really, really don't. 
And I have a hard time believing that people care what I'm doing either. I don't care what the temperature where you live is or what kind of coffee you're trying today or what you're eating for lunch or what your agenda for the day is. I really don't.

2. I felt like Twitter had such a needy vibe (see #1). 
Hey, look at what I'm doing! Hey, look at what I've accomplished! Hey, look where I am going and how cool my life is! Hey, look at who I am and what I can do. SEE me. VALIDATE me. Me. Me. Me.

I'm guilty of all of the above. I've done it blatantly and unashamedly. I've done it with absolutely no agenda but also with a need to garner attention. I like attention and have an unhealthy obsession with myself. Guilty as charged. But you know what? It began to get really, really old. I felt like I was spending more time tweeting about my life than actually living it. And that's not what I want to be about. It was a waste of my time and energy and purpose.

I have a good idea of what God has called me to do in this season of my life and I don't need validation from anyone other than Him when I'm doing it. Sure, it's nice when others validate us but Twitter just felt like a place where validation from others was openly solicited and I didn't like how that made me feel.

3. It's "noisy" and addictive.  
It seems like more and more people are losing the ability to just "be". Sometimes being alone with my thoughts is scary and things surface that I don't really want to deal with, so I keep myself busy...every moment...with things like Twitter and Facebook or television or tasks or conversations or some other kind of "noise"--basically anything that allows that which lurks beneath the surface of my heart to stay pushed down. Twitter was a fabulous diversion and a ginormous and addictive time-suck. So many times I'd ask myself if I didn't care what all these people were doing all day long, then WHY in the world did I just spend thirty minutes reading people's tweets?

4. It brought out a side of me that I don't like.
Snarky. Judgmental. Mean. Twitter seemed to bring out the very worst in me. Here's an example or two.

I might read a tweet that said: Long awaited date night with my husband. Woohoo! And then that person would proceed to tweet the details of their date continually throughout the evening. Know what I'd find myself doing? Rolling my eyes and making snarky comments under my breath. It took great restraint not to reply: Yeah, how's your husband enjoying the date night you're sharing with him and all of your Twitter followers??? How's that working for him?

I would also tend to judge people based on their Twitter activity. Wow, that person must really like to hear himself talk or wow, she's really addicted to the computer/smartphone because she's posting on here all the freakin' time. See? Snarky, judgmental, and mean! Those aren't the truest things about me, so why in the world would I ever want to pursue something that caused those things to surface? It just created a very unhealthy pattern of thinking and I don't need or desire that.

The bottom line here? Nothing Twitter has to offer is life-giving for me. So on impulse, I yanked the plug.

It's been exactly one week since I (permanently) deleted my account. Have I missed it? Nope. Not one bit. The surprising result??? My mind feels so uncluttered and free!

Some of you may be wondering if I knew that I didn't have to follow people on Twitter that annoyed me. Yes, I did know that and yes, I did unfollow people but that didn't solve the entire issue of how Twitter affected me.

Others might wonder if Facebook stirs up the same stuff for me. Yes and no. I definitely use the "hide" feature when I feel the snarky stuff start to surface. I'm not as inclined to follow suit and disconnect from Facebook though because it has been such a positive tool in reconnecting with some very old and dear friends.

Soooooooo...that's the long and short  of it. And again, my purpose in writing this isn't to bash Twitter or those of you who use it. There are lots of good folks on there and lots of good things about it, but I've come to realize that it just isn't good for me. 


Katrina @ Pics, Pages & Purls said...

LOTS of good comments and reasons...I don't tweet very often and my phone doesn't "pronounce" when I get it's quite quiet right now. I will miss your tweets, you were always making me miss Colorado though.
Enjoy your weekend!

Trish said...

amen. I have always felt the same way about twitter and myself (it was really easy for me to quit twitter since I don't have a cell phone!)

I have been really working on claiming Micah 6:8 as MY verse.....mostly the "walk humbly" part and that includes finding my identity in Jesus ONLY. Not facebook, not my blog, not twitter.

Love ya girl!

Jennifer said...

1) I LOVE your honesty - almost as much as I love your heart.

2) I admire your ability to view your thoughts/feelings objectively and make needed changes

3) I'm so glad I know you! You're such a good influence on me.

4) I have no idea why I feel the need to number my thoughts today. :)

love you,

Wendy said...

I feel about the same with Facebook. I rarely post on there now, just keep my account open to see the photos of friends and family in the UK.

I never got on with Twitter, tried, didn't like it, quit it!!


Sitesx6 said...

I've never done Twitter (is that how I say it??) in my life, for all the reasons you just said...I'd probably feel the same about it as you do, and get sucked in. So, I just never even started.

I feel the same, at times, about Facebook. I feel sometimes it is all about BRAGGIN about "Look how much fun I'm having" "Look at me" and that part drives me nuts and causes me to have "snarky" thoughts. I LOVE being able to keep in touch with so many friends all over the world, so I keep my FB account.

I feel so sad when I see couples out and they are both on their phones instead of talking to each other.

I respect your restraint and awareness to how it was making you feel and act.

Finally....I'm glad you LOVED The Heretic's Daughter. At first, didn't you want to punch the mom in the mouth? Then...she grew into a woman you fell in love with for her sacrifice. Tell me what you thought- I know you loved it, but why..... what is next up to read for you?


Moriah @ Please Pass the Salt said...

Amen!!! I can't even remember the last time I was on twitter but I'll just leave it there for now, continuing to collect the dust.

I'ma email you now...

Diane Meyer said...

Ouch. I have not tweeted because we live in the mountains and do not get cell coverage so do not text, but I recognized myself anyway.
I can get all snarky, sarcastic on Facebook, or over share on my status every three minutes.
Good reminders.

Stacy said...

I am not a Tweeter, and have never had an interest in it, but your reasons for deactivating your account sounds about right!! good for you. I have a facebook but don't stay on it enough to even worry about, I thought about quitting that but, I am a couponer and to get alot of them you have to "like" them on their facebook!!

Hillcrest Cottage said...

This relates to twitter in a round-about-way (dinosaur-like way... haha)
In the days of film (before people took a gazillion photos per minute) I would always notice this fact upon returning home from a vacation:
The times I had the very MOST fun were the times when I would have the fewer amount of pictures. Lots of picture usually equaled boredom. The exception being when the participants were to obliged to do the staged group shots.
The principle was simple: I was having too good of a time being with whomever to stop for picture-taking!
I think this relates to Twitter, also highlighting what you stated above. Those who are busy *really* living, don't have time to stop and tell the world about it. Those who are content in their own skin, don't feel the need for validation in this way!

I think there are segments of society where Twitter is a valid tool. But, I, too, quit Twitter because I myself didn't even want to read what I was doing... ha.

I think you have made a healthy choice, and I applaud you!

Now... get busy living your awesome life with your awesome family!

Carol said...

I miss you on twitter:( I understand but I liked hearing from you and felt like you were more in my everyday life. That is what I do like about it. I did go back and read my recent tweets to judge myself and what I am doing, and if I like the representation. I appreciate anything that challenges me, so thanks:). I like the breaking news, the positive affirmations, and Brad Paisley's tweets.ha thanks for being so real, that's rare, and I miss you.

Gretchen said...

I miss ya. But honestly, after giving up Twitter for lent last year,(and resuming) it seems like it has been a bit of an unneccesary weight--especially since I've been keeping up w/all my "celebrity" friends. Hello, real world. ;) And guuuurl, I know whatchu mean about the neediness/snarkiness cycle.

I miss ya also cuz I'm not blogging this season, either. But you know what? I can pick up the phone next week & try to catch you for a live chat. That's what real friends do--no talking in soundbytes.

I hope you are well, m'lurve! I had fun catching up with your last 5 or so posts. Xxxooo

Rebecca Jo said...

OK - you now have me wanting to delete my Twitter account :) ... very thought provoking!

Melissa said...

I have a Twitter account, but I can't remember the last time I logged on. It's probably been at least a month ago. I should just delete mine permanently, too. I think I will do that...thanks for the inspiration!

I have pondered & pondered Facebook. It's been great to use to catch up with old friends, and I feel I can use it for a ministry if I'm careful to use it in that way. For example, I'm trying not to post any "look at what I'm doing" things, and just posting Scripture or thought-provoking/meaningful quotes from books from folks like Elisabeth Elliot, etc. that I come across. I've "hidden" many people so that I don't know what's going on with them...and don't really need to.

I'm learning that paying too much attention to blog & FB friends takes me away from my real life friends (and family) who need me.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you for this post! I have tried twitter several times but finally gave up. It seemed pointless to me, it was distracting me from my work, my husband and my friends.

Carpool Queen said...

I hear ya' and I've said those things to myself a lot of times. I'm not ready to pull the plug yet - I think I'd rather delete my FB account - but I have thought about why I do it. So for now, it stays.

Miss you, though - I'm one of those weird people who likes to know what you had for lunch.

Anonymous said...

I don't Twitter but I have many of the same feeling about Facebook. Love your honesty!


Gretchen said...

The first time I heard about twitter, this thought ran through my head: "Why would I care what you are doing every minute of the day?" My 2nd response was, I hardly have time to think about what my day holds, why would I want to read about everyone else's? It really seemed pointless, but I eventually tried it.
It was everything I thought it would be: too much fluff. I rarely tweeted or checked other's tweets. I, too, permanently closed my account about 2 months ago.
I'm proud of you for writing this. Time to go enjoy life! :)

Steve Garufi said...

This is very disappointing. It was fun tweeting with you. I thank Twitter, because that's the medium I met you in.

GO HOGS! Arkansas, ArKaNsAs, *ARKANSAS!* Y'all know ya gon git an Arkansas Ass Whoopin' by those Hogs! Woooooooo! Pig! Sooouie! :)