Tweet For TwoLast month I made the decision to deactivate my Twitter account that I’ve had for nearly a decade. It wasn’t an easy decision to make, that's for sure, as it was something I’d been wrestling with for quite a while now. Still, it needed to be done, and as the dust is starting to settle I can’t help but think that it was the best thing for me to do.

At first, Twitter was something that I wasn’t too fond of because I didn’t like the idea of sharing my thoughts within a narrow 140 character bracket. It felt strange somehow, pointless even, especially since it forces people to abbreviate their words to fit into a single tweet. But then, as I started to use the platform more and more, I gradually appreciated the simplicity of it and began sharing my stuff on a regular basis. This included random thoughts I had, numerous photos or screenshots I captured, interacting with those accounts I followed, and of course, meeting new people and networking with fellow gamers. In fact, there were times when I was very, very active, tweeting multiple things a day and regularly interacting with followers and friends. Not always, mind you, because sometimes I also treated Twitter like a tool so I could share articles and content I had written and produced.

After a while, though, things seemed to change, change in a bad way, and I took an extended break from Twitter until I eventually returned, only to find out that I wasn’t really inspired to do much other than message a few friends behind the scenes. So, what I thought would initially be a ‘short social media break’, ended up lasting around two years!

Sick Bird
Fresh Start But A Slow End

After that extended break, I decided to purge old tweets off of my account to give it a fresh start, thinking that if I started from scratch I might have more fun with it and not be reminded of the large gap when I was absent. But purging the account took longer than you’d expect, and even when I was finished (and there were no more tweets on my timeline) Twitter still reported that I had over 5,000 tweets in my history. Strange that, isn’t it? 

I figured that the best way for me to get back into Twitter was to keep things light and fun and just share whatever it was that I was into at the time. Like ‘Mega Man 11’, for instance, which came out last October, 2018, and seemed like the perfect opportunity for me to shift gear. After all, the game was brand-new and I was very excited about its release, so I started off by sharing my thoughts and pictures of the game as I played through it. It was easy, simple, and I enjoyed doing it. Then after I finished ‘Mega Man 11’ (with no Game Overs...Yay!) I moved on to sharing stuff from other games I was working on.

Although, to be fair, things never returned to the way they were during my heyday with Twitter. In the past, I would have posted at least a couple of things a day (often more) and would regularly reply to tweets from those I followed, retweet things that I found interesting, and interact with people that would comment on my tweets. Yet, it wasn't the same the second time around, no, not at all, because I wasn’t keeping up with my timeline, I wasn’t commenting on stuff shared by my friends, and I wasn’t even keeping up with interactions on things I had shared myself. So, as you might have guessed, I began to wonder what the point of it all was.

Dead Bird
This Bird Flew Away

One of the hardest things about letting go of Twitter was the fact that I had the account for nearly a decade and accumulated over 3,500 followers. It isn’t that I’m someone that puts a lot of stock into metrics (that’s such a toxic thing to do!), but the amount of time I put into Twitter to get to that point did at least give me a lot to think about. On the one hand, it was a good tool for networking and meeting new people, particularly game developers, publishers, and PR folks, plus I didn’t have to actually tweet anything to keep the account open, and could use it as a messaging service to stay in touch with those people that I knew (and vice versa). While, on the other hand, I only kept in contact with a small amount of my followers, and some of my posts would only get a handful of interactions. Besides, the people I actually cared about had a way of contacting me outside of Twitter, so I basically figured that there wasn’t much of a reason to keep my account open.

So, sometimes, simplifying things is the best choice you can make! Bye-bye, tweet-tweet, and hello something else.

Real Bird
Un-Social Media?

Well, in my opinion, the main problem with social media is that it puts a lot of pressure on the end-user. It's often very “performance-driven”, whether it’s in the quest to have a certain number of views, likes, comments, or shares, or whether it’s due to the pressure of making your friends and family think that you have 'the perfect life'.

Heck, there’s an entire industry and field of thought built around getting the most exposure for the things you share on social media. Even back when I was producing lots of content I found myself falling into 'the trap' of trying to figure out when was the best time to share something in order to maximize the traffic it received. Sometimes, if a tweet I made promoting something didn’t get enough exposure, I found myself deleting that tweet and then sharing it a second time later. Even with the newer stuff I shared after my fresh start, I found myself sometimes being disappointed if I happened to see that something I shared hardly got any traction at all. 

This type of thinking is toxic, incredibly toxic, as people should share things because they want to share them and enjoy sharing them, not because they seek some form of validation. If no one likes or comments on something you post, should it really matter to you? If you had fun doing whatever it was, shouldn’t that be enough? When we find ourselves going back to posts to see who interacted with them and being upset if no one responded, doesn’t that mean we are doing things for the wrong reason? And yet, no matter how toxic that might be, it’s become a mainstay of social media as a whole.

Happy Bird
Get Out Of My Tweet, And Get Into Mylar

Having severed ties with Twitter for good, I now find myself no worse off for having done so. In fact, I think I’m actually much better because of it. Those that I cared about and regularly interacted with on Twitter already have other means of reaching me, so I really don’t have to worry about much in the way of lost connections. What's more, rather than sharing random gaming and technology thoughts on Twitter, I can now focus some of those thoughts into meaningful and interesting pieces for sites I manage or work with (like this one!). Hopefully, severing my ties with Twitter will help me get back into writing and sharing again, which is something I’ve slacked off on and would love to get back into.

In any event, I definitely feel like simplifying things was a good decision for me and I have absolutely no regrets about it. I think getting away from some of the toxic cultures that pervaded Twitter was ultimately the best thing I could do, and if disconnecting from that social platform encourages me to get back into writing a bit more, that’s the icing on the cake!

Anyway, those are my thoughts on the topic. So please stay tuned for more crafty content coming your way, care of Jessica's Journey, as written by Joypad Jess from NerdyButFlirty.com.

TO TWEET, OR NOT TO TWEET... TO TWEET, OR NOT TO TWEET... Reviewed by David Andrews on March 06, 2019 Rating: 5

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