Twitter has been a part of my life since I started my second semester of college back in the beginning of 2013. Since then it’s only become a more dominant piece of my daily routine. I would wake up and check my feed, check it after showering, any time I got a break in work, whenever a load screen came up, or just whenever there was a single dull moment in any part of my day. Then this past Saturday I had one of my busiest days ever and I decided when I woke up Sunday I didn’t want to deal with anyone. I deleted the apps off my phone and kept Skype closed so I could just enjoy myself for a bit. It was really nice to be honest. When Monday came around though I thought what it might be like to stave off Twitter for a whole week, and so I did.
I’ve read so many stories about how people who ditched Twitter being more productive and then talking about how they never realized how much social media accounts were ruining their lives. Nothing so drastic happened to me. I worked just a bit more than usual and I obviously didn’t find myself stopping every minute or so just to check whatever new was going on with everyone else, but there was no real noticeable change. One thing that became really apparent after just a few days was that I became much more aware of the my space and what I was doing day-to-day. When you spend a good portion of your time always seeing what everyone else is doing it’s easy to not notice what you’re up to and whether or not it’s any good. I felt like a had wrung another hour out of my free time and while I just used that mostly to play video games I was happy with that. I suddenly noticed how much (or little) I was working every day and I began to do just some small extra things before my evening shifts would start. I would get a bit more video editing done, I do some more laundry or run some errands all around town. I’m now very much aware of how much time I have every day to just do stuff.
While it did take most of my time off to fully understand this I did also feel much more emotionally stable without constantly peering into the lives of others. Sometimes my day was somewhat boring without seeing all these neat game updates, but I also never saw the absolute worst of the gaming community put right in front of me. I felt just emotionally fine; never too excited, but never depressed by the actions of others.
There were a lot of times where I did something or had an idea and thought “Oh I should tweet this!” and couldn’t. After enough of those I began to wonder about how important those thoughts were. Twitter caused a weird sensation in me where I would began to tell everyone almost everything I could think of in a given moment. When it really came down to it I thought about how while those thoughts may be interesting to me, most of them weren’t so in the slightest to most everyone who followed me. Who honestly would care about me telling them I beat a particular Vocaloid song on Expert? Who would think “Oh I’m so glad to have learned this” when I said I was going to work for the umpteenth time? Having to harbor these thoughts to myself brought on the realization that I tweeted a lot of total garbage over the years. I know I hate seeing things completely irrelevant to any of my interests in my timeline so why should I force it on others?
During the small handful of times I did go on the site to quickly post a link to a new video from one of my series’ I saw quite a few tweets like that and got pretty angry about it. I honestly I have no idea how that’s going to affect who I follow going forward.
All that being said I’m not going to up and quit Twitter anytime soon. Unlike some people who have quit social media and said they started engaging in more one on one conversations with those same people I have a group of friends who I only speak to there, and that’s fine. I will stop using as much if I can help it though. I like my extra free time even if it just feels like I have more of it. I also don’t plan on tweeting so much random crap that doesn’t pertain to anyone but me. There’s a difference between letting others peer into your daily life and just never shutting up about it.
I don’t think Twitter or any other big social media platform is ruining my generation. Even when I used it a lot I was still present in my own life, just a little less so. Plus Twitter has made me some great new friends may not live where I do but do share similar interests to mine. I like talking to them and I’ll continue to use whatever platform they do to do so.
Social media in most forms is still a great platform for people who otherwise couldn’t do so to keep up with each other. From today on I’ll keep using it for that, just a little less so.