Goodbye, Twitter – It Was (Sort of) Fun While It Lasted
Today, after more than 10 years, I deleted my Twitter account. What finally drove me over the edge?
I think it was General Kelly's news conference about Trump’s conversations with the family members of deceased servicemen. Partly I just wanted to draw a curtain over this entire tragic affair. Partly I don't need to know any more about Trump’s lack of empathy or his increasingly obvious lack of qualifications for the job. We face major problems in this country.
We need to be discussing how to repair the damage being done now and in the future not only to our own citizens but also to our reputation in the world. Twitter is not helping.
What initially attracted me to Twitter was its brevity and its ability to let me interact with people around the world. Over time it has evolved into something very different and beyond these simple roots.
I'm not convinced, for example, that the addition of images to Twitter was such a good idea, despite the “picture is worth a thousand words” defense. Twitter images frequently contain difficult-to-read text or are illustrating repeated advertising focused on brand awareness. While I have nothing against advertising, being forced to scan through piles of irrelevant or out-of-context messages is generating an increasingly unattractive signal-to-noise ratio. This will only gets worse as the length of individual messages is increased.
Two other things have also contributed to my dropping Twitter.
First, Twitter authors increasing rely on numbered “threads” to present complex ideas or thoughts. Haven't these people ever heard of blogs?
Second, the prevalence of “bots” that pounce on political discussions to present simplistic or poorly worded partisan diatribes is annoying. I'm always wondering if I'm interacting with a real person or with software.
Perhaps the problems we are now facing as a nation are just too serious to be addressed via a medium as ephemeral or as short-attention-span-oriented as Twitter.
What do you think? Let me know below or via email (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Copyright © 2017 by Dennis D. McDonald. An updated version of this article has also been published in aNewDomain.net.