Below is the saga of an internal struggle that has been building up in my poor head for the last month or so. Climaxing in nearly deleting my Twitter account, the thought process mapped out in Part 1. Then nearly culminating in actually deleting my Twitter account, the mental consolidation mapped out in Part 2. But ultimately ending in indecision – the fire of my frustration sputtering out.
I value the personal network I have on Twitter. I just wish the junk would bugger off. ‘Plan B’ has been enacted. With no intent of insult I have unfollowed all non-personal accounts that seem all business and no human personality. Possibly inaccurately. (And nothing against them, with difficulty I’ve unfollowed some breweries I really love in the expectation anything fantastic they tweet will be RTed by someone I know.) I’ve muted accounts that I like in principle & person but that are spammy. Turned off RTs judiciously for breweries I interact with. I’ve filtered through 758 connections and eliminated 227. The fact that I recognised & remember the vast majority of the remaining 758 accounts is an interesting reflection on the complexity of the human memory…
This will not solve the problems, but it may soothe them a little?
Part 1 – #RageQuit
20k tweets? That’s just in the current incarnation of my beery Twitter self (the third Twitter-self I deleted my original self about 2 years ago). Let’s be generous to my slow wit and say I’ve cogitated for 15 seconds per tweet on average. That’s 300000 seconds. That’s over 80 hours tweeting. Two weeks full-time work. I could write a fairly functional CMS in that time. Or more personally pertinent perhaps make it to some of those gym visits I miss. And the reality is probably closer to 30 seconds per tweet. Four weeks? Ouch.
For what? Some fun & social networking, for sure. Participation in a big beery community, definitely. These are positives.
But the whole thing is more than a touch egotistical at times. A bit guiltily self-centred. Ejaculating 140 character snippets of thought into the æther hoping to fertilize a thread of interaction. I’ve deleted my last three attempts belabouring that metaphor so let’s leave the thought there. Firing blanks.
In my case angst, rage, beer & food predominate I suppose. Spurted into people’s timelines, squeezed enraged gourmet boils. Just more ants in the static detuned noise of the channel.
And that’s just what I think of my own drivel.
Rhetoric, religion, rage – keg kerfuffle, sparkler debates, multinational hate. Streams of it, with the vileness of a slaughterhouse drain.
Spam, spam, spam, spam, spam – RTs of advertising ‘competitions’, mad campaigning floods, high frequency promoted tweets, other’s favourites in my timeline (WTF is a RT for?), shit in my timeline just because someone I follow follows that shit. A mix of Twitter hitting a certain critical mass that is fertile ground for spammers of various sorts and Twitter itself grappling to monetise in order to secure its future. The result: dire.
The thread is lost. In the cacophony of an entire zoo shitting into the fan my small mind cannot find the plot in order to lose it. Confused & frightened I snarl & snap.
Snap. I’ve snapped. Twitter and my brain have become incompatible. The cognitive overhead is unbearable. The same as when I’m in a loud room… I just zone out. I think Twitter is doing the same to me. I can’t go picking & choosing folk to unfollow… and with the huge background spam increase I doubt it’d help a great deal.
So, once again, I am deleting a Twitter account.
I will miss it. I will miss out on things. It will be hard to stay away. Such is addiction. If I persist I am sure anything “important” will make to my ears and eyes regardless. My business presence will remain on Twitter as I see it as a necessity – but I don’t monitor its timeline as it is even more full of garbage than my own.
For tracking the very few blogs I follow with interest I shall return to a good old RSS aggregator. Ah, them was the days…
Part 2 – #Adios
The above was written semi-lucidly at 4AM. Unable to sleep fretting about far too many things… I slept on it. For very small values of “slept”. Be nice to say I found the answer in a dream, but I rarely dream these days. I pondered it over coffee. Pondered it some more whilst mopping the kitchen. This is not a “ragequit” – it is a considered stepping-back. I have deleted the @ale_is_good Twitter account and then recreated it, following nobody, followed by nobody, it will sit dormant. I’ve tried just deleting Twitter from the phone before now, but it doesn’t do enough. There’s some sort of psychological addiction effect in place and the drastic slash and burn approach seems to be necessary. I am a procrastinator… and Twitter is an all-too-easy procrastination engine.
I will continue to put my inane musings here in blog form. Have an entry coming up about doing my CaskMarque/BII cellar certificate (which I presume I passed, just waiting to find out).
Of course @JollyGoodBeer will remain – primarily to promote the beer I deliver, pubs I deliver to, and beery antics I get up to in the JGB guise. So a bit dull really, unless you live in my patch perhaps. It will inescapably reflect my deranged personality to some degree, but with the angst and fury filtered out I’d hope. I’ll use it to communicate directly as and when appropriate. I won’t monitor the mess that is its “timeline” as it follows all kinds of bollocks in a UK-beery-followback sort of way.
This little business needs to be my focus, and I mustn’t let my problematic self get in the way.
Folk can contact me via Jolly Good Beer – phone number & email there. Those who I deal with in a business sense who sometimes use @ale_is_good to get in touch, just redirect to @JollyGoodBeer please.
So, anyone want to set up an IRC channel away from all the spam? #oldskool #badidea
All of the above happened in my head. Got written down here with intent. But did not map out to eventual reality. I post it anyway as the best I can do to vent my frustration at what Twitter has become and what I have become on Twitter. Let the existential angst continue…
My name is Yvan, and I am an addict.
My finger will be hovering over that self-annihilation button for some time to come.