Smoking has upsides – feels good while you do it, and it suppresses your appetite. So does Twitter. Feels good while you do it, and gives you a feeling of being up to the moment informed.
As a feed of ideas? Sure there were gems, but it was like investing off of 1-minute interval chart patterns. So easy to lose the big picture. The gems from constant vigilance are deluged with dreck and it has only gotten worse with the years. Serendipitous exchanges with people you’d otherwise have no access to don’t happen as often anymore. I tried moving the app off my main screens but it was still a swipe up away. Began to feel like an addiction.
Removing Twitter going into an election was the hardest challenge. The gossip, the up to the minute polls, anecdotes, and voyeuristic frission between partisans is the best part of Twitter.
I found a good replacement for a feed of news and the columns I want to read: Feedly.com. Who could I not read on a regular basis there? Friends long since stopped putting up all but the most major personal news. I check Facebook rarely more than 1x a week, and could get such news there. The only real loss – humorous twitter accounts. Wit of David Burge, and satiric tweeters like Nihilist Arby’s. Many — all? — of the deep thinkers I’m influenced by have placeholder accounts at best. Had to at least try a vacation from it.
It’s hard to prove a negative but I don’t think I missed anything. Super important tweets would surface in news coverage.
During the month, I got on the Woovit twitter account on the web, but even there cut back significantly – still posting and replying to comments but this felt like any other customer service.
Unlike Facebook, it’s hard to catch up on nuggets you actually want during long time intervals. I still feel a low burn that it would be fun/interesting to check Twitter. However I didn’t feel a huge urge that having reached December 1 I should dive back in either. It was good December 1 came on a Saturday with the always engaging WSJ weekend edition.
Update Dec 2, to illustrate a great example of Twitter’s problems:
Peter Attia’s email list sent a link to a tweet, of a phenomenal accomplishment: a one-legged woman doing not merely squats, but with weights, capped by a “thruster” in Crossfit parlance. It’s amazing.
The only limitations we ever have are the ones we put on ourselves. pic.twitter.com/YDzXI0pYwP
— Kevin W (@kwilli1046) November 23, 2018
So, OK twitter, am I off here? Would there be follow up inspiration? The comments are ludicrous:
While I greatly respect this girl, it's sort of unfair to use her as a reason to shame others. Her genetics plus her support system play a factor in her ability to do this. I'm glad she gives hope, but I hate the idea of "if she can do it, so can you." Not necessarily.
— Laur the Heathen (@LuciTStone) November 24, 2018
It is "inspiration porn". People with disabilities do not exist to inspire non disabled people. This weight lifter is obviously very talented and worked hard.
— L Flores (@jedichingona) November 24, 2018
disabled people are not here for your inspiration!! stop using us as props!!
— Eli the Elf 🎄✨(they/them) (@ebzibop) November 25, 2018
I have arthritis in my shoulder. The more I rest it, the better it gets. The more I exercise it, the worse it gets. Chopping off my leg won't automatically improve my shoulder cartilage and make me capable of weightlifting. Stop making nonsense interpretations of sports videos.
— Tania.co.za | AutisticStrategies.Net (@ekverstania) November 25, 2018
No, limitations are continually put on disabled people. To suggest that overcoming the level of inequality faced in the UK today is a result of positive thinking is demonstrable false. This false narrative perpetuates inequality.
— Oliver Wood (@oliwood1981) November 24, 2018
Well this is certainly a nice slap in the face to remind me that other disabled people can weightlift while I can't anymore. I don't miss a fully functioning body or anything.
— Tami Love (@ChronicTami) November 25, 2018
*Some restrictions may apply. Check societal privileges & oppressions before attempting to follow this ‘advice’; reality may intervene in the form of physical, financial, or cognitive limitations which may negate this ‘advice’; ‘advice’ should not be taken seriously #FixedIt
— Matthew L. Schwartz, MBA, LMSW ♿️ (@TheMattSchwartz) November 25, 2018
And so on. How toxic. What’s the point of being on twitter? I’ll wait for screened tweets from a limited set of sources and try not to fall back into reading comments.