Time Off Twitter

29Dec10
break the habit
Image by terobin via Flickr

A blogger doesn’t stay put for long when it comes to writing about stuff on the internet, that he believes his imaginary friends (with verifiable IP addresses) read with great anticipation and followed by appreciation (Yes. no harm in dreaming). Twitter has been the damn quickest way to shoot off updates on anything under the sun and on my mind. So why the twitter break? Aaiye Jaante Hain.

Blogging had become quite irregular since I was done with regular college. I’d stuff to write but I was particular about length and consistency of style of content. So, let me explain why Twitter, which limits your posts to just 140 characters, became my main, high-density and primary channel of thought release. Twitter as a publishing tool on the social media platform had the following advantages:

  1. Brevity : – For a blog that averages posts of above 600 words, a line of thought in 140 characters definitely looks like a waste of a potentially fully length blog article.Unless you use the P2 theme of wordpress for team microblogging. Exception to be considered. On the other hand, a post size restriction for a blogger means he can write out way too many twitter posts in a short while than a blog post.
  2. Off-Topic is On Topic: It doesn’t matter what you post about, when you post it or from where you post it. Your own timeline defines your day, whether online or offline. It does not generically cover area(s) of interest that a blog usually is followed for. This is why you take time to choose topics you want to blog about. Yes, you can vary your topics, but they are related to you or your interests more closely.
  3. Conversations: Many people would use Twitter as their feedreader alternative but for people seeking human interaction, tweet posts become threaded conversations. There is no separate ‘comments’ concept.
  4. Time-Critical: Some info you catch up on or hope your followers catch up on, in time. Twitter has clients on almost every sort of platform. Official and/or unofficial. So do blogging platforms, but not tools that could alert readers on timely basis or help them get the gist of the article in under a minute. You wouldn’t write an article to inform that some event is about to begin in a few hours in your town or wherever you are heading to. You would write a tweet-length entry in your blog and hope people find your URL or happen by in time before the event is over. How would you increase your hopes? Yes, you tweet about it. Because people may not remember a 100 different URL’s but they remember twitter.com or atleast their tweeting app knows to get the needed info on time.

So now you would expect the disadvantages to Twitter. No? Well, eitherways I see the drawbacks of my involvement in Twitter as an individual perception. I want to clear out the points as I see them from where I stand…or type this post for that matter :

  1. My timeline regardless of however many people I add is full of either me, me, me, me, me, me or of people whom I just don’t find interesting despite themselves being (through some mutual following/follower network guesswork) popular and balanced (celebrities are disbalanced, when it comes to following:followers ratio). I got bored of seeing me.
  2. My tweets count per month just stayed close to 1000 per month. That’d be about more than 2 per hour. When you do count the hours of sleep, eat, etc., the count per hour is way more. I see myself post like 4 tweets (not retweets) in a minute often and I go like Whoa! slow down!
  3. Over 90% of my tweets (which are about 15,288 at the time of writing this) are replies. Conversations where the thought process, the discussion hasn’t started from me. If you remove out the mentions, RT’s and links off my timeline, that’s the kind of control I’d ideally wish for on my timeline. Not that I ever mind striking a conversation, but not when it comes to publishing pseudo IM’s on a public platform.
  4. Even as a feedreader alternative, Twitter to me has always been a poor choice.Nothing’s better than a uniform interface where you read through sites, article by article in a format readable and convenient for you. Not to forget keyboard shortcuts and full articles re-structured for whatever screen size you are looking at the articles from. Twitter is by virtue of its size restriction per post is mobile device friendly.

Lastly, too much of a good thing is never good. It sounds cliché. It sounds like boring advice..yadda yadda yadda. However I’m reminded of two examples. My affinity towards Mafia Wars and Metal Music. I joined Mafia Wars adequately way earlier than when the “facebook games are mundane” thought became all-encompassing. Like I wrote about it earlier, the constant, regular, all through the day, collection of points, properties, partners in crime all turned from exhilirating high to a never ending task. This was an online game. Ever updating. There was no mega boss, whom you killed and got done with the game, ready to move to another game. Tweets and in close relation tweet count had that effect. You don’t realise in the beginning. But as the count goes up and as a blogger when I just have a series of tweets posted in quick succession, the happy feeling of sharing with the whole wide world becomes a mundane task. A task to increase the count. Sure I do give a moment to reflect that my tweet content has some value, though often subjective than objective. I still do want to get back to twitter but not as a desperate need to post the next 33 updates tomorrow but to find it as a relaxing break between substantial blog posts. This is where I draw an analogy to my metal music collection. Time to time, I do like listening in on totally unknown artists of different genres, from different countries on Jamendo and Grooveshark. Not much of hip-hop, blues, pop please. They make me feel bad for stopping to listen to metal.

Important reason to take time off twitter is to just break the habit, brake the speed, let the tweet count not ‘count’ as any sort of incentive at all. Let all tweets that usually evoke a response from me like “that’s so not true. I think you should see this” and “lol, lmao :P”, just go by. I am not even keeping drafts. I am definitely not going to become a dormant account, but I could simmer down 😀 It would also hopefully help me post more original and quality content than pick up conversations or links from my endless stream of feed articles in Google Reader.

The tweet posted on behalf of this article is what counts as the ‘hope to get some readers’ tweet. #Automated.

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2 Responses to “Time Off Twitter”

  1. I have been meaning to take a break from twitter, but I fail. In a way it helps me keep my blog network going. But you know what, I may disappear for a day or two, at least. I think so.

    Chintan

    • 2 Diabolic Preacher

      Hey,
      Thanks for dropping by my blog and not dropping a bomb on it. 🙂 I should get back to finishing the draft (still feels like serving cold food…but whatever). I used to take longer breaks but now I haven’t been off it for quite some time. Kind of my only company at most times. 🙂


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