I created my Twitter account in March, 2009, mainly to follow software development tech leaders. Eight years and 605 tweets later I have to ask myself, is it worth it? Answer: nope, not for me, not any more. Here’s why…
After almost 8 years, I’m following 52 people, and I have 60 followers, half of whom are hookers or bots. I am not persuading, nor am I being persuaded. What’s the point?
I know Twitter has to generate revenue, but I don’t expect to use Uber or Lyft anytime soon, I already know about Pluralsight, and I don’t drink Coca-Cola, so I would rather not see tweets from those entities (and many others). More degradation of the Twitter Signal To Noise Ratio. Yeah, I could figure out how to filter out some of the junk, but the time spent to do that has a low ROI.
Personal Security Considerations
Whenever a government or law enforcement agency needs to know something about you, the first places they hit are Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn – because it’s easy, and people are spilling their guts out on social media sites. I was a card-carrying member of the Libertarian Party for many years, so I’m already on the Subversives List, no doubt with a reserved seat on the boxcars going to the FEMA camps, but why make myself even more vulnerable? If it’s easier to dig up some dirt off the Facebook account owned by the schmuck down the street, bureaucrats will take the line of least resistance, just like the rest of us. Be a harder target than the rest of the herd, and since I’m no longer getting a good ROI from my Twitter account, it’s time to pull the plug.
Twitter Policies and Censorship
Twitter can set whatever policies it likes, but amid allegations of left-wing-leaning censorship of tweets (aka shadowban), I’m wondering what other policies are in place – like what government agencies get access to Twitter’s databases and under what circumstances.
It’s possible I’m wrong on this topic, because I also see evidence that Twitter may actually be trying to block intelligence agencies from access to its data. I guess the bottom line is that every American-based company may be privacy-compromised due to US FedGov intimidation.
I’m Not Learning Anything
As I indicated at the beginning of this article, I originally envisioned Twitter as a communication port to people whose technical expertise I valued. I wanted to follow the opinions and interests of key people in my industry in an attempt to spot any trends that I needed to study and consider as a next possible career path.
Lately I have had to mute some of the tech people that I follow and respect because they have lowered themselves to screeching about how the Trump election victory portends the End Times or some such thing. Now it’s good to see an increased concern for the unconstitutional powers that have become attached to the US FedGov Executive Branch, but there’s a voice in my head screaming “Where the fuck have all of you been for the last eight years?! Just because it’s your team holding the whip doesn’t make it OK, it’s still a whip!” You see, I have no political “team”, so your post-Trump-victory anxiety is how I have been feeling every day for the last 16 years. Welcome aboard, but you’re late to the party.
When I was in my twenties and thirties I also believed that government – if it was run by people with good intentions – could be a force for good. (I use the word “force” deliberately.) I suffer under no such delusions now – government is nothing more than organized crime hiding behind a flag and a constitution, and nothing good ever comes from the use of force, fraud or coercion. My younger colleagues will figure this out eventually, but pardon me if I don’t care to be a spectator to that evolutionary process as it plays itself out in 140 character chunks.
It’s A Negative Time Drain
Not only Twitter, but social media in general is really addictive, isn’t it? So many apps, so little time, and Holy Crap, I haven’t checked my email in the last 5 minutes!
And really, at this point in my life, I am feeling the need to simplify, to wind down a bit, to stop chasing URLs and start taking more time to enjoy the ranch, to play with the cats, to talk to the wife, you know, to do more of the important things in life.
Postscript – Real Men Give Credit Where Credit Is Due
I don’t want to end without noting the many positive open source contributions from the Twitter team. I love and use Bootstrap every day, and I don’t want to give the impression that I’m beating up on Twitter. It’s just that their flagship app no longer has any appeal for me personally.
So, there it is. Twitter was fun until it wasn’t, and I look forward to one less distraction. To all my Twitter followers, thanks for your support, and may you enjoy continuous Peace and Prosperity. Cheers!