If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one of your members than to have your whole body thrown into Gehenna.
And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one of your members than to have your whole body go into Gehenna.
During my July 4 vacation, I decided to deactivate my Twitter account, and then let the 30 day period lapse before my account was removed.
My reasons for doing this are as follows:
- It has been getting increasingly apparent to me that Twitter's impact on the world is more negative than positive. One obvious data point is that our current president rose to political prominence on Twitter.
- In particular, it incentivizes behavior that is detrimental. This includes:
- Identifying people guilty of some transgression, and mobbing them.
- Summarizing a piece of information in the most inflammatory manner possible.
- Leading me to conclude that engaging with Twitter was making me a worse person.
- Seeing how people behaved on Twitter was lowering my opinion of them.
- Jack Dorsey's endorsement of abortion so that women can keep working long hours in the office led me to question whether I should contribute to his platform.
So what have I noticed in this time?
- I had developed a habit of mind of responding to events by formulating a tweet-sized clever quip or take on it. This is starting to fade, but takes some time.
- I am "out of the loop" and miss some news cycles and controversies. But are they things I would have taken some meaningful action on? No, I really don't think so.
- Donald Trump does not set the agenda for what will occupy my mind on any given day.
- There are some voices I discovered from Twitter that I do miss, but the Twitter versions of them are the worst versions of them, and it is better to read them at their best.
- It was a bit odd going through the first couple football weekends without a stream of instant commentary, but on the other hand, I appreciated the opportunity to make up my own mind about things rather than be lectured.
Is it possible to use Twitter in a way that doesn't make you a worse person? Well, I don't think it is for me, and I suspect it is not for the vast majority of people.
Free your mind from the hive.