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Twittered out

I’m thinking of deleting my Twitter account.

Right now, I receive text messages on my iPhone from a few people that I follow, but for everyone else, I have to keep something like Tweetdeck open to keep up with the constant flow of primarily mundane communication that occurs. The problem is, though, that it’s not all mundane. Some people insist on using Twitter to send important information, about crises or hospital visits or deaths in the family. I feel bad when I miss these types of announcements, although the only way for me to see them would be to do nothing but watch Twitter all day long.

On top of this, there are people who insist on using direct messages to have conversations with you. Rather than log into a program to type a personal note to someone, why not use email? It’s even faster, and you don’t have that pesky 140-character limit, either. Plus, it feels like a more permanent type of communication.

Overall, this makes Twitter something that takes up more time than it should, makes it more frustrating than it should be, and makes me feel bad for not participating as fully as some people seem to be able to do.

I think my options are either to unfollow almost everyone that I follow, which will result in people having hurt feelings or thinking that I don’t like them, or to just delete my account completely and get rid of yet another layer of guilt on my shoulders.

What do you think about Twitter? (or Plurk, of course)

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70 Replies to “Twittered out”

  1. steen

    Twitter can get really obsessive; of course, I will tweet somewhat consistently for awhile and then completely forget the thing. I’m terrible about staying up-to-date on Twitter too. I just don’t check it often enough.

    Twitter would be better if they eliminated some of the features, streamlined it a bit and made it not so… invovled.

  2. Crystal

    I don’t mind Twitter, but then again I don’t follow a crazy amount of people and I tend to delete the ones who get annoying to me, such as the ones where every single tweet is a reply to someone.

  3. NYCWD

    Twitter is just like blogging in that you will get out of it what you want to put into it. Originally it was touted as a “micro-blogging” service, but has since developed into more of a Public IRC Chat atmosphere.

    Those people who put all their eggs in the Twitter basket I think don’t realize the short lifespan of a Tweet. In the Public Timeline, a Tweet‘s life is about 1 second. For someone following 100 people, that Tweet has a lifespan of between 5 and 10 minutes.

    Personally, I am on Twitter when I can be. There are times I miss important things from people that I would like to know or answer (ie. Your asking by a show of hands last week who was going to TC09), but I’m okay with that. I think it definitely has a place of usefulness such as when I’m not near a computer, I’ll turn the text messaging on to get updates from people I may be meeting or going to the same event as.

    It has its usefulness… but I’m not putting all my eggs in that basket.

    Plurk, similar to the Viddler vs. YouTube comparison, does not have the same penetration as Twitter. Eventually, like Pownce before it, I think Plurk will get bought by one of the established platforms to be integrated.

  4. radioactivetori

    I almost never look at twitter. When I do, I try to catch up on what everyone has said but that is just plain impossible. I figure if someone needs to tell me something, they will email me, otherwise I will read when I can. I hope people don’t get upset about me missing their tweets, I mean people have to understand that it just isn’t possible to catch everything right? I do like reading when I can though so I won’t delete mine.

  5. Coal Miner's Granddaughter

    You know, besides the automatic “New Post” or “Flickr” messages, I only tweet once or twice a day, if that. And if I miss out on others’ tweets? Oh, well. The world won’t end.

    Don’t stress about it so much, hon. :hug: And I won’t be pissed if you unfollow me. I’ll just mutter to myself, “Adam needs to fucking chill.” and then I might ridicule you on my blog, and then we’ll be fine!

  6. Jay

    I’m following 90-something people, but only about a dozen of them Twitter with any regularity. I have unfollowed a couple of people who post every few minutes cause they annoyed me. I didn’t already know them before Twitter, so I didn’t worry about hurting someone’s feelings.

    Important announcements, like family emergencies and stuff like that, are easier to keep track of on Facebook.

  7. Jennifer

    Dude. Thousands of people live vicariously through you. You can’t delete your Twitter account.

    Seriously, Twitter needs to eliminate some features. Ditch the DM and make the site no-frills.

    Enjoy it for what it is & don’t stress about not reading every message of those you follow. Anything serious or important should warrant a phone call or email.

  8. Amanda

    I just don’t take it too seriously. I almost never have tweetdeck up. I login and read over it a few times a day, but if I miss something I don’t feel too bad- I figure if it’s that serious they’ll blog about it, or someone else will blog about it. And if someone’s sole means of communication is through twitter, that’s their fault. Obviously you should communicate though e-mail.

  9. Finn

    I like the immediacy of Twitter, but I don’t use too much during the day because I have things to do. And I don’t use it all on the weekends because… I have a life. Presumably.

  10. Sheila (Charm School Reject)

    This is where not having a lot of friends comes in handy – I only have a few handfuls of people to keep up with.

    Twitter is good for having conversations with more than one person. Unless you want to invent some sort of blogger chatroom (much like the ones for TalkShoe) where I can converse with multiple bloggers at one time – Twitter allows me to do that.

    Sure we could email and reply all constantly, but then you guys couldn’t see all of the awesome stuff we have planned.

  11. Gina

    I like Twitter as a medium because it is faster to catch up on and easier to keep up with than all the blogs I follow (or wish I had time to follow).

    I like it too because some bloggers will post links to their blog posts, so I can quickly click over instead of needing to get into Google Reader, which leads to feeling overwhelmed with how many blogs I have to catch up on (or mark all as read as it sometimes goes).

    I like Twitter too because it is a nice way to post a link or a comment that just isn’t enough to make a blog post regarding but that I want stated or posted regardless.

    I only follow 62 or 63 people though, so it is not as overwhelming as it would be for someone following 100 or more people who all post often.

  12. Krystle

    To be honest, I turned my twitter text notifications off a few months ago, and I haven’t missed them one bit. I couldn’t keep up with all the texts, and half the time it was just talk that I didn’t care much about or didn’t include or affect me in anyway… so, instead of having to go through and read everyone, and delete all of them, I turned them off. People know how to get in touch with me via email and my blog…

    I don’t blame you

  13. just beth

    I just un-followed a bunch of people that I love, but who tweet in like… conversations. I just can’t keep up, and while I’m sure that they’re not the least bit interested that i’ve unfollowed them, I feel hella guilty. Sigh. I just can’t seem to win.

    xo

    b.

  14. Robin

    That explains why you don’t follow me anymore…eh? Oh, well.

    Considering I only follow 22 people and I have 25, no 24 people (now) following me, I don’t think my twatting is that earth shattering. Popularity breeds contempt, anyway.

    So, if you have to cancel your twitter account, cancel your twitter account. You don’t need us to tell you to stay.

    Oh – by the way… Baaaaah.

  15. Dan

    I really can’t be arsed with it at all. I occasionally look in for a quick nosey, but I feel guilty enough `bout occasionally scanning over people’s blog posts due to lack of time without adding guilt about twitter too.

  16. hello haha narf

    i love twitter, but i only have certain people’s updates sent to my twitter phone. in addition, all direct messages and direct replies also come to my phone. other than that, i only look at all of my twitter contacts (via their web page or tweetdeck) every once in a while.

    hate plurk, by the way.

  17. Sybil Law

    I won’t get offended if you get rid of Twitter or stop following me or whatever the hell. Twitter can get extremely annoying to me. People post like, every fricking second of their lives – seriously, people – your life is NOT that exciting! I almost never Tweet anymore- does anyone give a frick what I’m eating for lunch?!!
    I will continue to email people for pertinent information. It’s way more personal.

  18. Hilly

    I’ve honestly toyed with the idea of closing my Twitter account and opening up a smaller, more private one. I know we all say that we should be able to unfollow whomever we want but let’s get real here….feelings will get bruised.

    I pay less and less attention to Twitter these days because, like you said, there are way too many people talking about way too many things and OMG, the @ conversations that should take place on IM or email…don’t even get me started.

    So, my advice is to delete it entirely because you lived without it before (and you know people will tell you what’s going on) or to delete and get a smaller unknown account.

  19. Karl

    I think you’re putting too much importance in Twitter. If I felt the same way, I’d probably delete my account, too. I pay attention to Twitter sporadically throughout the day. If I catch someone’s Tweets, fine. If I don’t, oh well.

    The whole point of Twitter, to me, is that it’s not as time-consuming as keeping up with blogs.

  20. Faiqa

    I’m still trying to figure out how I can make twitter useful for me and those who follow me. A quick perusal of my updates will show that this goal remains completely elusive. Besides, why do I need to follow an Avitable twitter acct, when I know where he lives?

  21. Kathy

    I have a Twitter account, but I rarely use it. Apparently I’ve yet to grasp Twitter etiquette: that little @ replies thing? I didn’t even realize it was there, or that I was supposed to @ my @’s. (See how silly Twitter is?)

    (I only realized this after a fellow blogger’s impassioned rant about it. )

    The whole thing is a major time-suck. If I check in once a week, that’s a lot. It’s a good ranting, tool, but that’s about it for me.

    • Hilly

      @Kathy, Funny! I read that rant too and yet, I totally feel the opposite way. I hate it when people expect me to keep going @ @ @ with them because that stuff should be taken to email. Well, in my little opinion anyway. 🙂

  22. sizzle

    I won’t cancel my Twitter account but I have been thinking about how I use it. I do tend to post mundane updates, shit I wouldn’t post as a blog post, so I wonder why bother? But then again, there’s something to be said for feeling connected to people. I don’t get tweets from most people on my phone even though I have unlimited texting. I just don’t want to be THAT connected.

    I do like Twitter though and feel like I’ve gotten to know some people through the medium moreso than through blogging.

    But the DMs instead of emails? That bugs.

  23. Kyra

    I deleted mine a while ago. It just became something that took up time and space rather than giving me a real benefit most of the time. While I appreciated getting the fast updates with the important stuff, 99% of it was mundane kind of stuff that could have been skipped or popped up later on someone’s blog. I was so relieved when I finally cut it loose.

  24. LeSombre

    I too think I’m twittered out. But when that happens, I just leave Tweetdeck closed for a few days, and I always end up missing it. I see Twitter as a classroom setting, and whatever I tweet is kinda like when I use to make smart ass comments during class. So I can be a Tweeter clown if you will.

    I did however stopped using Facebook. I think there’s a Twitter-Facebook continuum in there. 😉

  25. SciFi Dad

    I have never signed up for a twitter account for the reasons you have outlined above. I feel like I would spend too much time consuming information I have little interest in, and not enough reading cohesive posts or other communications.

  26. Dave2

    I liked Twitter at first, but it’s quickly beating me down. Between people “live Tweeting” events that I could give two shits about (and, seriously, I’D WATCH THE STUPID CRAP MYSELF IF I WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT IT)… and “Re-Tweeting” idiotic stuff that I have no interest in (and, seriously, I’D FOLLOW THE PEOPLE MAKING THE ORIGINAL TWEET IF I WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT IT)… and people promoting their businesses… and people publicly broadcasting inane shit like “HUGS!” which is only of interest to ONE person and should have been a DM… and the general boring-ass conversations… well… I might have to delete my account too.

  27. Dave2

    And you already know how I feel about the whole “I JUST MADE A NEW BLOG POST” tweets… that’s what a webfeed is for. I already know you posted to your blog because my feedreader grabbed it. I don’t need to know about it two or three more times via Twitter.

    • Ginger

      @Dave2, Damn! I’m guilty of every single thing you just bitched about! No wonder you unfollowed me. LOL!

      Sorry, for being an twirritant, man. I still love ya, though.

      Oh, and “HUGS!” :sexytime:

  28. LiLu

    I like Twitter for fun notes, quips, two sentence embarrassing stories… but actual news that would warrant a definite response? No thank you. If we’re that close of friends, you should have my digits anyway, no?

  29. Loralee

    I like Twitter. It’s where I usually read the blogs I do through links and such, but I also agree with a lot of things you have to say here.

    However, Twitter and Facebook have cut back massively on how much I read blogs. (I deleted my reader because I was drowning and the ease of both of them makes it easier to be an internet hermit)

    I also hate Twitter games and guilt associated with following and not following. THAT sucks.

  30. Father Muskrat

    I reckon I like Twitter pretty well when I’m driving or am struck by a brief moment of brilliant wit. I think most of the stuff I read on there is pretty stupid and, frankly, a waste of my 3 seconds, however.

    This is especially true in the mornings. Someone is, every day, going to try and figure out another way to uniquely gripe about an inadequate quantity of caffeine. It’s never funny or interesting.

  31. Poppy

    I’ve put down twitter before.

    Now I just use it to say little bursts of things, but I don’t necessarily check back on anyone’s conversation strings.

    I hope no one is using only twitter to disseminate important information.

  32. martymankins

    Twitter is a different animal. NYCWD said everything well above. And Dave2 makes some good points about the Twitter-flooding, which I admit I’m guilty of at times.

    I can tell you this that if you un-followed me, I wouldn’t consider that bad. Hey, you have to manage your social networks and media to how they fit your needs. It’s all good with me.

  33. Ginger

    I’m not on Twitter (or blogs or anything) as much as I used to be. However, I like Twitter because it is great to disseminate information. Breaking news, especially–Twitter usually breaks news long before CNN, etc., because eyewitnesses are Tweeting as it happens. I also love it for the reason that there have been times it’s been my only direct connection to the outside world. Like…at Thanksgiving when I was isolated with a sick child. My Tweet Peeps were a lifeline. I didn’t feel so alone. (So sue me for sounding pathetic.) 😛

    There are certain folks (like me & some of my followers) who enjoy live-Tweeting events. I *try* to give forewarning to those who do not like it, in case they’d like to take me off of their phone alerts or unfollow me for the night.

    But don’t take it all so seriously…I mean really…are those kinds of things something so horrible that you can’t just scroll through 2 clicks and overlook those who are enjoying themselves temporarily? Why get your knickers in a wad about something so benign?

    Anyway, I love having that open line of communication with you all and I welcome every single one of your Tweets anytime.

  34. cris

    I don’t twitter. I have too many of these time saving devices taking up all my free time already. Besides, I am getting to the age I should become technophobic. I still don’t see why it is advantageous to have an $80 a month cell phone so people can talk to me in a car where it is unsafe and soon it will be illegal to talk to them on a cell phone.

    If I can’t use my “car phone” in the car, can we all o back to just having home phones in the home? I liked it when my phone bill was only $22 a month, really!

    Oh wait, you asked about Twitter. Eh… whatever you feel like doing Dude. I don’t use it.

  35. Ren

    I do feel the need to check Twitter periodically to make sure I didn’t miss anything, and I follow few enough people that I can go half a day and usually not have the buffer on Twitterific on my iPhone runeth over. I’d like to not feel this compulsion, but not to the point of quitting altogether. I wonder if I can make the buffer smaller?

  36. borysSNORC ™

    I don’t Twitter at all – in fact I have avoided it like the plague. I think my blog already crowds up the internets with enough irrelevant crap and useless nonsense that I don’t feel need to exacerbate the situation by putting even more banal mutterings out there via Twitter.
    RMB

  37. kapgar

    I refuse to let myself get stuck relying on Twitter as a primary communication source. I do not subscribe to phone alerts of anything other than DMs and notices from Amazon’s MP3 store (mostly because I’d get sick of checking all the updates from nearly 200 people and I only get 200 text messages a month on my plan). I use Twitter when it’s convenient. I know this likely doesn’t make me the most popular Twitterer out there, but it’s better than getting burned out on it all, don’t you think?

  38. Lexi

    I used it incessantly at first.

    Then I thought, oh, shit…I should probably, like, shower…and feed my kids…

    Twitter, to me, is something that is useless unless you’re on it pretty much 24/7.

  39. Elizabeth Kaylene

    I’m starting to have trouble keeping up with all of my Twitter accounts, too. I run one for the company I work for, another for my personal stuff, another for my non-profit, and yet another for my business. I’m thinking of merging the personal and business accounts. It’s getting to be too much!

    I totally wouldn’t blame you if you deleted yours, but I do have to say that it’s a great marketing tool. I’ve gotten a lot of new readers just from Tweeting blog and forum posts. Many of my sites’ traffic has increased just from using Twitter. So consider that before you delete your account!

  40. CheekySweetie

    I’ve just recently started using mine the way it was (I think?) meant to be used. I like it-but I think anyone whose feelings are all tied up in who follows them is too much drama in the first place. Some people just aren’t into it; that doesn’t necessarily mean they aren’t into YOU exactly. Or it might, but if they aren’t, so what? The only people I *expect* to be really into me are the people I live with. Everyone else is entitled to think I suck if they feel so inclined.

    Actually I do suck, if he’s lucky. Hah! :cocksuck2:

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