Farewell Tweeters.

I write this having just closed my twitter account. The lead into this decision has been over the last two years – since my unwanted birthday gift of a certain vote in 2017. When asked why, my answers are generally along these lines:

  • I’ve had enough of the increase in unwanted adverts popping up, particularly the videos;
  • I’ve had enough of being told about likes/retweets etc that are from people I don’t follow;
  • I’ve had enough of extreme view points aggressively and nastily promoted; too many personal insults, not much reasoned debate;
  • I am increasingly bored with tweets from people getting over excited about trivia and ‘celebs’, people who think the world revolves round them and people with one track minds who refuse to consider other perspectives;
  • My intense irritation (that I rarely express on line because I’m nice) with poor grammar and spelling;
  • My realisation that it is addictive and takes up too much of my time;
  • I want to read more books instead.

Social media, especially twitter has the capacity to magnify or diminish; to clarify or distort. The pernicious anonymity of it enables the worst of human nature to be displayed without fear of any comeback. The best of human nature is rarely to be seen. When I first set up a twitter account, I felt, for the most part, that I was managing the account to fit my preferences. In the last few years, that feeling has vanished and it became ever more clear that twitter and associated commercial concerns was doing the managing. I’m not naive. I know that media in general controls us much more than we control it, but it now feels far more blatant than it once did. I ignore the majority of advertisements, wherever they appear, skimming past them in newsprint, focusing on my book or puzzle when they appear on screen. I prefer to make decisions about what I spend my money on first, then research options, not have my spending driven by ads. That approach doesn’t stop me feeling irritated at the prevalence of them and I was weary of constantly blocking unsolicited ads from my twitter timeline.

The feeling I got when I deactivated the account, then deleted the icon was one of great relief.

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