5 reasons why I quit Twitter

(I know that at least two people reading this swear by this online service and won’t take too kindly to my bashing it…but if you’re reading – sorry you guys; I just had to write this one)

I’m willing to bet everyone reading this uses or at least has heard about Twitter, so I won’t get into the specifics of what exactly it is or what’s it for.

If you’re still wondering what I’m talking about, you might wanna watch Twitter in Plain English. It’s a wonderfully made video from the guys at CommonCraft and actually the reason I got hooked onto this what-to-do-online-when-you’re-bored thing.

Though I must say, and one must give it credit, twitter in itself is based on a brilliant idea:
Even though we have SMS, Email and instant communication, real life happens between blogposts and email; and you wouldn’t send an email telling your friends you’re having coffee right now. This is where twitter comes in, linking up your real life to your profile online and paint a picture of you to your friends in a rather unique way.

For me however, it simply did not work. And here is why.

1. 140 characters too long:
Technically, a twitter post cannot get longer than 140 characters. The idea is that you only make short posts – ideally just a sentence or two on what you’re doing – so that people don’t have to read too much.
Unfortunately, too many people get around this by posting links – which is heightened by services like tinyurl that compress large links – and ultimately leads to the information overload that twitter tried to prevent in the first place…and what we’re all too familiar with.

2. Similar alternatives present.
Though this might have been a recent development, social networking sites such as Facebook and Orkut also have a kind of ‘status message’ where you can tell the world what you’re doing. If you’re someone who already uses one of these services (like me), why bother with an additional online account to do the same thing? Its just one more thing to keep track of all the time.

3. Real life is not online.
This is the single biggest reason I quit. I don’t know how it works for other people but for me, “real life” happens OFFLINE…when I’m away from blogs, computers, and yes, even mobile phones.

For instance, the other day when I was out ice-skating with the guys would’ve been the ideal what-am-I-doing post that twitter looks for. But obviously, when you’re out on the blades, you don’t take out your phone to tweet “Just fell hard on the ice” when your priorities at the moment are elsewhere.

There’s a thin line between what can be online and what can’t, and some things just aren’t meant to be online.

And when I am online, what I do includes blogging, reading/commenting on other people’s blogs, getting banking done, socializing on networking sites and the like. None of which really carry a worth-while mention as long as I’m doing it.

4. Lack of “happening” events
This maybe a purely social thing…or it’s probably just me, but when you log in and read all your buddies’ posts on how the weather’s so beautiful at their place or that they’re off to have a great time somewhere; and then look back at your posts and see the only thing you’ve accomplished in the last two weeks is having 4coffees a day and playing a ton video games – it kinda starts getting depressing.

That, fuelled by a lack of interesting events in your life start to drive you crazy after a while. I mean come on, how many times can you tweet, “Alright, I’m off to work…again” and still hope to have a following?

The key is variety…and for a person with a routine lifestyle, it doesn’t really make much sense.

5. Lack of resources when you need them
Perhaps the best times when stuff happen to me is when I’m footloose – like when I’m off vacationing in another country. And most of the time, I’ve never had my phone or could access the internet when I could really use a tweet.

I mean, “The Eiffel Tower looks awesome” and “On my way to the Taj Mahal” would make really wonderful tweets and stuff I really wanna share with the people in my life…but let’s get real; you probably didn’t have internet access in your hotel room in Paris or on the train to Agra.

It’s almost as if there’s some sort of you-can’t-have-the-best-of-both-worlds curse; when something interesting does happen – I’ve no access to stuff online.

And I could probably list more, but these five are reason enough for me to stay off this teen-trend – and hope that the fans don’t take it too hard on me.


Anonymous said...

probably the same reaons why i never joined twitter.. :) thank you for sharing your reasons with me...

Ela said...

U really seem to have too much of time....first to join twitter...then to quit it and then to think of 5 reasons so as to why u quit it and then to write a post about it, that too with bold sub headings....then probably reading all the feed back comments and then writing comments to it...... :D

Brood Mode said...

I never joined it and now, thanks to you, I never will :-)

Arun Sundar said...

Twitter is good, when all you should do is not tweet, but just comment on people's tweet. If somebody seems happy, ridicule and ruin the moment. Or if somebody seems to boast, degrage them by sarscasm. Twitter would then be fun. hehe...

(On a serious note, you got to have the right set of people to follow and be followed. Twitter might then be fun!)

Arun Sundar said...

Or perhaps you can read this: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/12/technology/personaltech/12pogue.html?_r=1

-=A.R.N.=- said...

Thx...but I guess you need to give it a try anyway

Maybe its because I don't have a PhD to spend all my time on?
p.s. that was a good one, I actually laughed out loud reading it!

@Brood mode
Thx...and welcome to The Square Circle. Nice to see a new face.

When I think about it, you are kinda right. I guess it never worked for me coz I don't "follow" anyone unless I know them, and most of my pals don't dig twitter.

That and because I'm no Barack Obama
p.s. Thx for the link, I think I need to write a counter post on Twitter next...just to keep the fans happy.

Anonymous said...

hey A.R.N .i have changed the black to something else..do come and check..:)

haze said...

prolly most of the reasons y i used it and then left it as it was ... i cant be bothered to write my daily minute to minute things online !!!

-=A.R.N.=- said...

check out your chatbox...there's still something funny with your layout

Dude, you're already writing all that anyway right now on facebook and gtalk.

Ela said...

Thanx Rahman....for laughing at my comment ...i was little bit "thinking" (of course, only after publishing the comment)whether u would be offended by it or not! glad that u were not!

Anonymous said...

Dude ! Slow down a bit ! It's hard keeping up with you - Three great posts !

I am only going to say that your comments are fair and not everybody gets twitter.

Twitter experience depends on who you are following. I joined to get the inside scoop on web technologies from Arrington, Lemeur and Scoble.

Now I have a lot of blogger friends, who I have never met or shall never meet, on twitter and it's been a great tool for getting together and socializing.

Twitter is a lot of fun for me now, check out my latest post to see what I am talking about !
You'll get a laugh I promise :D

Guru said...

Reason #3 is the reason why i can't blog so frequently anymore. When i first started off, i tried/wanted to write about anything even remotely interesting (i make the call) that happened to me. I have a lot of unpublished posts in my drafts folder from back then, just routine 'what-happened-today' stuff.

It got really tough after a while, once i even skipped writing about a 5-day backpacking trip to Kerala, Goa. Just could not write down all the fun/experience i had.. Now, i rarely write about my offline life, unless i really want to record how i feel about something.