When the new Star Wars movie came out, I decided to take a break from Twitter so I could avoid spoilers. I mostly kept away (but for a few small hits).
I finally saw the movie (which I enjoyed) this past weekend, and so I came back to Twitter.
Now, a few hours later, I’m off Twitter again. I didn’t like being back.
Twitter became a daily part of my routine as soon as I joined. I was still working on NewsGator Inbox (which was an RSS Outlook add-in) and had a few conversations with another developer who built a Twitter Outlook add-in. I had every blog post and Twitter post all in Outlook. It was pretty seamless and I enjoyed it.
While we were building and using Glassboard extensively a few years ago, I rarely opened Twitter. If we were doing a PR push or a conference was coming up I’d be on, but for the most part I ignored it. I started checking in daily again when I wrote a book to help publicize it and answer any questions that would come up.
Over the last year though, I’ve seen my usage increase while the benefits have decreased.
I found myself evaluating my professional worth based on who and how many people followed me. All the while knowing that some of the best developers I’ve ever worked with either don’t have accounts or rarely use them.
I also found it a way to easily stick my foot in my mouth and say something that I regretted. Basically forgetting this classic xkcd comic about the internet.
I knew Brent’s tweet in December was more then it seemed (work with a guy for 8 years and you start to read things). The post today summed up many of the same thoughts I’ve had and why I also took a break from Twitter in December. After a quick week back on Twitter after the New Year, I took it a step further and deactivated my account two weeks ago.
Brent talks about being calmer and happier. I was too. He also talks about the trade-off of not having a Twitter account. Its very close to the conclusion I had last week when I re-activated mine. I’m guessing its not a coincidence that Manton Reece wrote about the same trade-off today as well. (when Brent wrote about Manton being a litter-mate the comment was to me and some mutual friends while I was in Seattle)
I’m not sure yet just how far back I’ll be cutting down on Twitter but I do plan to publish links to blog posts or interesting things I find while coding. That part of Twitter has been very valuable to me.
But largely ignoring the Twitter Noise Machine – particularly when my timeline becomes the Twitter Hate Machine – is going to be good for me.
I plan on using that time well this year and for years to come.