, 12.29.2019 03:33 PM

Why we should all quit Twitter

I did, for a few weeks in the Fall. Didn’t miss it. Didn’t look at it. Only came back because the account had been hacked and needed fixing.

I’ve got about 42,000 followers, and a lot of them seemed to be okay that I was back. Some people said nasty things, which I enjoy retweeting or – if they’re really awful – putting on Facebook and this web site.

That said, read this. The points he makes sounded really, really – really – familiar to me.

Comments are open. I’d be interested in what you think (as always).

I still read Twitter — its utility as a news source is unparalleled — but I don’t participate in it at all. And yes, I miss it. I miss presenting my work to readers. I miss presenting my magazine’s work to readers. I miss getting off the one-liners that amuse me and seemed to amuse others.

If I could find a way to participate simply by tweeting out articles and gnomish would-be witticisms, I would. But I can’t see how I would be able to avoid sinking back into the mire.

There’s a reason Twitter has ­defined this decade’s communications. It’s the most interactive ­medium the world has ever known, and it’s great fun.

But Twitter has an oversoul now, and the oversoul is poisonous. It ­rewards bad rhetorical behavior, it privileges outrage of any sort over reason of all sorts, and it encourages us to misunderstand each other. It’s the devil on our shoulder.

Or, at least, it was the devil on mine.


  1. Gyor says:

    The medium is the message. I’ve seen some cool useful stuff on Twitter, but a lot of darkness from all sorts of angles too, more darkness then light.

    That is why Twitter is the worst part of social media followed by Facebook. Then comes Instagram and Tinder both shallow, but no where near as dark. Much better is YouTube although YouTube has been doing a lot of stupid things, and then Reddit which I mostly love and prefer as well as regular website forums. Twitter had such potential (I never liked using Facebook), but it all went so very wrong.

  2. Ronald O'Dowd says:

    It’s more ShitterTM than TwitterTM.

    But if you happen to be a pure piece of shit live and in person, of course, we can’t expect you to be anything else on TwitterTM.

  3. The Doctor says:

    Unless they can clean up the bots, it shouldn’t be allowed to exist. It’s ridiculous, the number of clearly fake and bot accounts on Twitter. The fraud and manipulation is totally out of control.

  4. Ty says:

    Only because you’re asking for opinions, as someone who’s been reading your stuff for 15 years now, my thought is that you’re in a dangerous place with Twitter, because it’s perfect for one aspect of your skill set (speed) but loses the humanity your best work provides. You punching bots/protobots can be funny sometimes, but as a spectator it’s not fun to watch the Raptors play CSKA Moscow every week. It probably wouldn’t be fun/helpful for the Raptors either.

    I kinda like what JJ McCullough does, just stating he doesn’t read replies and tweeting as if they don’t exist. You get his views and opinions, but none of the drudgery of reading copies of the people you block.

  5. NeinerNeiner says:

    I’m glad you’re back on Twitter actually. I do like that you engage with folks like myself on Twitter.

    I can see though how it can be a cesspool

    I prefer Twitter to Facebook.

    There are so many people sharing their knowledge on Twitter. I follow all sorts of doctors, researchers etc. I think it is amazing that part of it.

    I do find myself pulled into the bowel area of Twitter at times. When I find myself there then go on a deleting spree because it isn’t what I set up Twitter for.

    I’m a bit odd in ways that I set rules for myself on these platforms. I make sure I don’t venture into certain topics or get dragged into arguments with people. I don’t take the bait. I’ll mute a discussion or just back off it. “People can’t play tug-o-war with you, if you drop your end of the rope.”

    On Facebook, I rarely venture off my own page. It’s for personal stuff. I have MeWe as well. I wish more would join. It’s ad free, seems more respectful of privacy.

    I also have a Parler account, which is set up similar to Twitter, but it is too far right wing for my liking. I still check in there to kinda challenge my ideas but I don’t have discussions there either.

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