Sunday, January 31, 2010

Twittercide

There used to be, in the sidebar of this page, a collection of my latest tweets and the more eagle-eyed among you will probably have noticed they're no longer there (or maybe not). About three weeks ago, I decided, in a fit of whimsy, to commit twittercide and erase all trace of myself from Twitter. It was a sudden acte gratuite; in the morning I was tweeting away to beat the band, by midnight my twitter presence was no more. I told nobody I was going to do it, not even the dozen or so of my 'followers' whom I actually know personally. I didn't even have to use the Web 2.0 suicide machine; it was all quick and painless and it was a good feeling to disappear into the night like that. Though I did enjoy Twitter, I can't say I really miss it. It was leeching up too much of my time (particularly since I got an iPhone) and I have since spent the regained time more efficiently, by reading. To a certain extent, contra the cliché spouted by social networking sceptics, I have become less rather than more sociable since leaving.

I'm not going to join the chorus of uninformed bores who rail against Twitter or any other social networking site. Twitter was enjoyable and can be of great use to some people but, even as my tweeting snowballed (I hit the 700 mark after nearly two years activity last July, by the week of my demise I was up to 4000) I couldn't really justify it from a professional point of view. I've used it once or twice to that end but, to be completely honest its effect was minimal and even the traffic diverted to this blog from it was negligible. I don't know if those folk I used to correspond with on Twitter read this blog (or even if many of them notice me missing) but for those that do, this will explain the absence. I was flattered to find out the founder of one major political website (whom I've never met) wondered where I had gone to. While I have not gone completely offline, it's nice not to have to express oneself in 140 characters or less anymore.

4 comments:

Fin Keegan said...

Oh, well. Tant pis for us in the Twittosphere though I can see your reasons and sometimes feel tempted to erase my own online presence, such as it is.

At least you are not planning to shut down the blog again, I hope...

Seán Báite said...

Seanachie - At the risk of resembling my own kids (who pick me up 50 times a day on my accent / using the wrong article etc. etc.) it's an acte gratuit ... Now write the correct version out 50 times on Twitter before next wednesday - and give the credit to Camus :-)
As to Twittercide - in Twitter terms I'm that favourite sociological category of the Irish constitution - unborn. One of my main reasons is probably that I expect most people up there will be not come anywhere near to being as interesting as this Sligo corner boy... (or Graham Linehan - another great defender of Twitter)
Has it caught on in French ?? I'm only beginning to hear mentions of it in the media...

seanachie said...

Seán: I know you won't believe me but I hesitated over the gender of 'acte'; this is a timely reminder.

Fin: Apparently Twitter is responsible for the death of the Irish blogosphere but this blog will stumble on in its usual half-arsed fashion until the Internet becomes illegal or some such thing.

Mike Collins said...

Reading this nearly a year and a half after it was written and I find it very interesting. I am considering -- though I have not worked up the nerve -- to do it myself. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and story.