Earlier this week, I deleted my personal Twitter account. This marks a further step on my fight to retrain my mind.
I’ve been without Facebook and Instagram for a few years now, and Twitter was the last major holdout. I justified keeping it because the quality of posts seemed to be higher than on the other platforms. I followed and interacted with interesting people and encountered plenty of new ideas.
But, there was still a cost. I noticed the addiction creeping in again. We cannot escape our programming - the red notification badges and slot machine effect will always capture us. The outrage that is so prevalent online creeped into my life. My mind and attention were being taken away from me.
Even the continual flow of ideas started getting to me. All Twitter thoughts are brief, without justification or explanation. Everything is spoken as a strong truth. There is no room for in depth discussion. For me, this is a non-starter: it’s just noise. I seek out quality information that I can dive into and incorporate into my life. I don’t need a sea of ideas from other people. I’d rather read a twenty-five page paper about a single point, rather than 180 characters which summarize a pithy complaint about human nature.
We take in too much information. We are always hungry for new ideas. But when I crowded my brain with everyone else’s ideas, I noticed that I no longer had room for my own.
So, I’m silencing the noise and continuing to reduce my media consumption. I need space for my own ideas to grow, develop, and integrate. I prefer the slow, high, winding mountain path to the veritable flood of never-ending information.
You will still find me in two places on the social interwebs: for now, I am keeping a LinkedIn Profile and Twitter account for my business. Both of those accounts are core marketing components. I feel much less temptation for checking these accounts, and much of my posting is automated through a third-party service.
But if these accounts continue to draw me away from useful work, they will have to go too. The best way to prevent addiction is to avoid the addictive substance entirely.