farewell twitter

14 May

I have deactivated my twitter account. Again. The first time I did it, I thought I was deleting it, but then I managed to get it back, so I think it just sits in there waiting for me to change my mind. Again.

This isn’t some ‘the interwebs its all wack and woon’. For what it’s worth, I think you can spend a lot of time on the internet and still get your novel written; that you can be a switched on mother and tweet; and you can choose to tweet over choosing to do something else because tweeting is, for one reason or another, better for you than whatever else it is you were going to do.

I think twitter is fun, and I get its appeal.

For other people.

It’s just not for me.

Firstly, it’s the time thing. Not so much that it takes time away from other things. More that other things leave me with little online presence time these days and without putting in the time, twitter really is no fun.

I feel like I’ve always just missed something. Like I’m at a party, and I go into the kitchen, just when the action has moved to the hall, and I get to the hall only to find that everyone is on the patio. And so on. This is exacerbated by the time difference for me…by the time I get home, most people I know are either off to bed or not up yet. I log on and spend half an hour reading about what just happened in other people’s days, but never quite being able to get the thread.

Which leads me to the rather pathetic and tragic part of my story. The cool kids. When I’m on twitter, I feel like it’s full of cool kids, and I’m not one.

Now, I’m not saying that this is the case, that it really is cool kids and others. I’m not bagging twitter or the many brilliant twitterers around. Like I say, I get twitter’s appeal, I reckon it’s fun, and I in no way attribute the end of the world to twitter (not when we’ve got Tony Abbott running around in his budgie smugglers doing a better job of ending the world).

It’s just I’ve never, ever felt that way with blogging – and that’s not because I am one of the cool kids, that’s because I’m forty years old and I long ago gave up caring about shit like that. Didn’t I? I don’t know what the difference is, but with blogging, I’ve never felt, ‘what about me?’ On twitter, I was starting to feel that way and honestly? If you are forty years old and you’re worrying about shit like that, then there’s something going on, and you need to do something about it. Because that’s what’s good about being forty. You’re not twenty. And you’re certainly not sixteen.

For a while, when I realised I was getting weird about twitter, I decided to use it differently. I think probably the more you tailor it, concentrating on food tweets or writing tweets or knitting tweets, the better it is. So I tried that. I tried to use it as my source of news, following every news source and NGO and media outlet I could find. I did find out stuff, but then I realised my collection of news and facts and information was no less random than it was before. I was better off checking out The New Yorker website once a week than following the link to the article that someone else was telling me I should read. Sure, I found out about the crack in the aquarium at the Dubai Mall pretty much straight away. But actually, I already knew about it, because my friend’s husband had just phoned her.

Besides, I’ve only got so much to say, and I’m not sure I’ve got enough for twitter and facebook and my blog (and not to forget I need to save some things for any fiction or essays or memoir that I might one day write). There are different people in each of those forums, that’s true, and I am endlessly fascinating, what with the gold-dispensing ATMs and the many different ways I have to gripe about the sand and the heat, but all the same, I do hear myself get a bit repetitive. Like I’m the person at the dinner party retelling the same story she told at brunch last week and at coffee the week before.

I could have let it go dormant, just sit there gathering dust. But then it sits in the back of my mind saying, ‘You should oughtta be doing something about me.’ So, it’s better to deactivate it. It would be even better to delete it. If I thought that was in any way possible.

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9 Responses to “farewell twitter”

  1. Mindy May 14, 2010 at 8:24 am #

    Never gotten into twitter, but your comments about the cool kids resonate. I can pretend that someone is reading the blog even if they don’t read comments, but if no one is following me well then that pretty much sums it up doesn’t it. I don’t need something else to make me feel inadequate. I have children and cats for that.

  2. Stomper Girl May 14, 2010 at 1:05 pm #

    I’ve pretty much ditched mine, for 2 reasons: the one you said about only having so much to say and if you blurt it all out on twitter, what will you blog hmm? and also I found it so noisy. People tweet while they’re watching telly, tell you what their every meal is, list their errands for the day. It was kind of fun at first but then I just felt a bit fatigued. I haven’t got as far as deleting it, because of the woman’s prerogative, and I did pop in and play for a bit just this week but I really really relate to your post on this.

  3. Frances May 14, 2010 at 1:08 pm #

    I’m still hung up on the gold atms. Do the owners/entrepeneurs behind such, twitter?
    I have the gloomy feeling that they are going to own and run the world, while we turn into twittering birdbrains.

  4. Cristy May 14, 2010 at 1:31 pm #

    Mmm yes, you are making much sense… (‘cept the part about not being cool). I have much to think about.

  5. blue milk May 15, 2010 at 7:08 am #

    You are a very concise wit, I thought twitter would be your forum. I cannot do interesting/amusing stuff in 140 characters but none the less I poke about to get the low down on what is happening – I think I might be an eavesdropper, actually.

    I can see that a time delay makes a big difference though. I can see that if you’re always on when everyone else has been and gone that this would get a bit dull.

  6. miriam May 15, 2010 at 1:09 pm #

    twitter, i think, is for those who are more interested in tweeting about life than living it. therefore, well done.

    • ThirdCat May 15, 2010 at 1:36 pm #

      I don’t know about that…actually, it really can be a lot of fun.

  7. carolbaby May 15, 2010 at 2:44 pm #

    Agree with blue milk – you have m4d sk1llz at being excellently concise.

    Twitter has quite lost its lustre for me also (I’ll admit I was rather fond of it in the beginning, as with all shiny new things), am just hanging on for my imaginary friends (the peeps whose blogs I have adored for many, many years) and a handful of bands I adore.

    Oh, and the occasional rant (like the A-Team movie – what the hell?!?)

  8. The Coffee Lady May 15, 2010 at 11:27 pm #

    I joined up in order to work out how to do it because I had to for my job. But I don’t like the fact that the people I follow, if I click on their profile, are having all these cool and funny conversations with other people, hidden away, and not replying to me at all.

    I too seem to have the 40/ 16 thing going on.

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