This wasn’t a planned experiment, but my last tweet was August 2019. A lot has happened since then and removing myself from Twitter has been an interesting experience.
So did I miss Twitter? The answer is well, Yes and No.
I left Twitter for my mental health. Something unkind happened at a conference I attended and without getting into details, let’s just say someone that I used to hold in very high regard wasn’t kind. I needed to step away.
Twitter and any form of social media can result in both positive and negative experiences. Thankfully I never experienced trolls or abuse, so my experiences are general. I use twitter in an academic professional capacity. It is great for keeping up to date on the latest developments, new publications, ideas, hints and tips. Previously, when I shared advice on publishing education research, I included Twitter as a positive networking tool. That’s the value it had and still has for me. I have to admit that I have missed Twitter as a resource and missed that sense of being in the hive mind of activity.
What I didn’t miss were the cliques that can get magnified online. Yes, there are cliques everywhere, that happens but it can be an exclusive club.
As an introvert, I tend not to shout about what I’m doing to others. Twitter is a great way to share updates on some professional developments. It helps to connect what you are doing with the outside world and that can be sharing and connecting to anyone, both home and away.
Overall the positives outweigh the negatives and so I am connecting back with Twitter. I remind myself that we are in control of managing notifications and the times we engage online. It’s those damn notifications that invite you to open the app especially in the evenings and weekends. That’s how it starts! So it will be a conscious choice now and I am looking forward to my return to Twitter in 2020 (it’s a strange year anyway).