I haven’t tweeted in 18 days as of writing this post. 18 days! That is by far the longest I have gone without tweeting since my first tweet in July 2008. I guess fatigue was bound to set in after 2 years and nearly 3,000 tweets.
My Twitter hiatus started back on August 20th. At the time I was just really busy and had no time to check or update Twitter. But, a couple of days later, Leo Laporte published his post “Buzz Kill,” in which he discusses no one noticing that his Buzz/Twitter accounts had not been updating due to a glitch.
That got me thinking about my Twitter use. I was really busy, growing tired of trying to keep up, and maybe just had overall social media malaise. Plus, I have less than 1% of the followers Leo does, and if no one noticed his lack of usage, I was pretty sure no one would care if I stopped. So, I decided to take a Twitter break. Did I miss it? A little. I wondered if I was overlooking important news throughout the day. I definitely wasn’t as “real-time” as I was when I had my stream constantly docked on my monitor. And I did have the occasional urge to tweet something that was going on in my life. Oh, and for the record, not a single person noticed or said anything as to why I wasn’t tweeting.
Yet, I realized not having Twitter wasn’t all that bad. I still got all my tech news through Google Reader, my numerous apps, and blogs. I still generally knew what my friends were doing through Facebook and Foursquare. And, I had a bit more time. So, after 18 days, do I know what contributed to my burnout? I think there are five main things:
- Speed: I’m following just over 300 people, which in Twitter terms is not that many, but my stream moves too fast. With being in meetings and having actual work to do during the day, I can’t keep up anymore.
- Conversation: What happened to it? Maybe it’s just me, but Twitter used to seem so conversational, with people @ replying people they didn’t know and starting discussions. Now, it seems people basically converse on Twitter with the same crowd they converse with offline.
- Retweets: People are waaaaaaay to quick with the RT button. I blame this on the new reweet style, in that all it takes is one-click and now few people are adding context or giving a reason for their RT.
- Links: I see the same links Tweeted over and over again. Granted, I’m following a predominantly tech crowd, but it’s getting old seeing each Mashable post in my stream 20 times.
- Links… again: Too many users are randomly posting too many links throughout the day. I don’t know if people think they can look like an “expert” if they spew links constantly, but it’s out of control. I would love if people would only Tweet or RT links that had an impact on them personally (and give a reason why).
But, not all is amiss. I think many of the aforementioned issues can be alleviated by better maintaining and curating my lists. Also, I love the innovation going on outside the .com site, specifically for the iPad with Flipboard and the official app.
So, will I get back on Twitter and start posting again? Yes, but probably not with the same, consistent ardor. And, ironically, I’ll start by Tweeting this post.