I’ve always believed in the conscious consumption and usage of social media, instead of joining just for the sake of it. Within the last month, it became apparent to me that I needed to quit Twitter. Let me be real, the platform has never been my thing. The last time I posted a tweet was December 4, 2015. Yup, over a year ago.
Let’s take a look at how I’ve used Twitter and why I’ve deactivated my account.
Attempts at Using Twitter
As a copywriter who tries to stay up-to-date and savvy, I tried really hard to use Twitter. Here are the different ways I tried to use it:
- As a customer service tool. I’d tweet issues to companies. I thought this would make them more responsive since my issue was public. Let’s face it, if a company has great customer service, it doesn’t matter how you contact them. If they have bad customer service, it doesn’t matter if your issue is made public.
- I shared my personal story to potentially meet those who had similar experiences. Namely, I wrote a couple posts about having a premature baby. (Okay, blame hormones.) This didn’t work, because who has time to be on Twitter of all things when they have a newborn, and a premature one at that? I learned this quickly.
- I tweeted about little happenings in my day-to-day. I even posted a picture or two of things I ate. I never found my groove and Facebook and Instagram are way more gratifying for sharing these types of details since commenting is easier.
- Tweeting live wasn’t my thing, either. I did this once at a Miami University hockey game against my alma mater, the UAF Nanooks. It’s thrilling to be thousands of miles from home and seeing other Nanook fans! Alas, watching the game and not typing on my phone was more fun.
- I followed current events via hashtags. Most memorable was Hurricane Sandy. It captured my attention because I had family affected. But, there are other ways to stay up to date. (By the way, isn’t it quaint that a storm potentially inhibited voters and was something to be concerned about?)
6. In an effort to use the platform as a tool, I tweeted notes from The Responsible Company as I was reading it. I figured I could look back and read my notes one day. Ends up, the best way I take notes is in a notebook.
Embarrassing Twitter Story
At one of my jobs, there was this guy I worked with maybe only a handful of times. I didn’t really know him, but he once sent my manager kudos for a speech I wrote for his client. And, I once visited his office and noticed he kept a 12-pack of Diet Coke under his desk, which made me wonder if he liked to drink it at room temperature or if he would seek out a cup and ice each time the craving hit.
Anyway, he had created a list on Twitter of co-workers’ accounts. I saw that he had added me, because you can see that kind of thing. But then I was laid off, about 4 months after I had started tweeting. In the first few weeks of unemployment, when I made it my job to find a job, I was checking Twitter (because I was trying) and noticed that he had removed me from his list of co-workers. It had taken him a week or two or three to either realize I had been let go or to update his Twitter collection.
I cried. It was so stupid–both that he was keeping this list and updating it like a mean girl, but also that I felt so hurt by something so dumb, dumb, dumb.
It’s been over a year that I’ve “engaged” via Twitter. But, Twitter has developed a gravitas that is completely and utterly undeserved for a platform that hangs its hat on 140 characters and spaces. Instead of just removing the app from my phone (which I did quickly once I realized I had forgotten my password), I have deactivated my account.
Twitter can no longer count me as a participant–at any level of engagement.
Here’s the thing with social media: it all hinges on the participants. Does a Twitter user with no followers make a noise? Does really smart content with no readers have influence? Does really dumb content with a bazillion readers have influence? Because of this, I am opting out. In short, because I find the authority tweets and the platform have been given appalling, I’m “just not looking.” I hope you’ll join me if you feel the same way.
Part of the reason why I tried so hard to make Twitter work for me was because as a copywriter, I’ve always seen “social media strategist” as a cousin. I’ve come across plenty of job listings requesting social media skills. I understand Twitter and what it can be used for and that’s exactly why for me (and for my personal “brand”), I’m saying “no thanks.” And, never say never. I believe in the evolution of character. I may return if the culture around this platform changes. But in the meantime, if I get passed up for a gig because of my conscious consumption, I’ll live with it.
By the Numbers
First Tweet: April 9, 2011
Last Tweet: December 4, 2015
Account Deactivated: January 19, 2017 (Supposedly my tweets may still be viewed via searches until the 30-day grace period is over.)