At some point in late February – after 7,367 posts – I stopped visiting Twitter and deleted all the Twitter apps from my machines.
My world suddenly became more calm, more quiet, and I had more focus.
I’ve posted a handful of direct messages during that time – but nothing public.
In the past couple days, I’ve been visiting Twitter.com again and have found it as satisfying as a fifth Krispy Kreme glazed doughnut.
The @-replies, the retweets, the opaque URLs, the echo chamber-ness, and the cute passive-aggressive-ness all taste like the sugary frosting around 140 characters of emptiness.
Have I missed things that are important?
Maybe. Google’s ‘latest’ search captures most of the things I’m actively tracking (and if there’s a good way to see how empty 140 characters feels – compare it against other search results). For the rest – given how quickly the Twitter stream flows – quello che sarà, sarà.
Has it changed how I communicate?
Most definitely. I’m emailing and IM’ing more and I like that. More thoughtfulness, more conversational, more intimate, focused topics, far less twitchiness.
What happened on my Twitter account during that time?
My follower count remained static. I received a small number of direct messages and an even smaller number of @-replies. It left me with the distinct sense that maintaining engagement on Twitter is like pushing on a string – once direct pressure is no longer applied, movement stops.
Yes, this post is primarily to put a bookend on my my archive of Twitter-related archive.
Want to discuss this further? Drop me an email or IM.
Hat tip to Jamie for the intro quote.
Update 24 March 2010:
I just received this message from Klout.com
“Our analysis shows that your influence on Twitter has dropped from 30 to 8. There are a lot of reasons this could have happened but don’t worry, we are going to help you become more influential!..”
Update 2 April 2010:
It occurs to me that Retweeting is Email-forwarding’s lazier cousin.
Update 21 April 2010:
I finally found a line I wrote in June 22, 2009:
“When I Tweet, nothing much happens for me other than reducing my incentive and motivation to create anything else. That seems like an obviously pretty bad deal in every way you slice it.” – Dave Slusher