Time For A Twitter Break
If only I had more self-control
I have so many problems with Twitter! Or at least the corner of Twitter that is most visible to me. I just think it’s a really toxic place, and that there’s no way to “win” the fights I keep compulsively getting into there. My many hours on Twitter, in addition to (I think) making me feel twitchier and just generally worse than I would if I weren’t on the platform, rob me of time I could spend catching up on all the work I am behind on due to my disorganization and tendency sometimes to overextend myself. Twitter also makes me view my fellow humans in a much darker light than I would otherwise, because the algorithm assures that the worst takes — and the worst users — are pumped directly into my brain every time I log on.
So I’m taking a break. Not one of the “breaks” I have taken in the past, where I promise to use my account only to tweet out my work and then subsequently fail (badly), but an actual break in the sense of shutting down @jessesingal for a spell. We’ll see how long it lasts — I hope at least a few weeks, and ideally longer. (I do anticipate I’ll have to be back eventually to promote stuff.)
My only real concern about leaving Twitter is that it will affect business, since my account allows me to tweet anything I write or podcast to almost 150,000 people. So I’m hoping to build up an alternate account, @jsingalfeed, that will mostly be automated and used only to tweet out my work. I won’t follow anyone from it or anything.
That’s it! If anyone asks where I went, I hope this suffices as an explanation. One weird aspect of leaving Twitter, at least in my experience, is that people start making up reasons why the account in question vanished (of course no one could just leave Twitter because they don’t want to be on Twitter anymore). I signaled I was going to do this five days ago, and the break is long overdue, so it’s not in response to any one thing. I’m giving myself a deadline of end of the day tomorrow (Wednesday) to shut down the account — I do want to let the alt grow a little bit more before I pull the plug.
To my subscribers: if I didn’t have an incredible base of support, both here and over at the podcast, I’d still have to be on Twitter to build up a “platform” (ugh). You have all given me the greatest gift of all: freedom from toxic social media.1 Thank you! I look forward to using more of my brain to write and podcast and think. The alt account certainly won’t be accepting DMs, but I can always be reached via email.
Image: one of DALL-E 2’s takes on “the twitter bird on fire, impressionist style.”
Okay, this is a slight exaggeration. The greatest gift of all would be for the Patriots to settle their franchise-quarterback issue.