This morning I decided to delete my Twitter account. Actually the idea dawned on me yesterday during a long, eight-hour drive, and I had nothing better to do but think about this (it goes back to my New Year’s resolution where I decided to get rid of distractions and win my time back).
Driving through the colorful scenery of Tuscany/Italy, I was trying to think about all the good things that Twitter helped me achieve during the years I’ve been using it. And remarkably, I could not come up with any. It did help me reach a few people quickly, but then it also failed to help me reach many others. And it helped me read some news.
I was estimating the real life value of having followers and following others, and concluded that it is actually quite small. In my experience only about 1% of followers will read and understand what you tweet about and only 0.1% will actually engage with you (others confirm these numbers). In my case, this means about 7 people are actually engaging with me on day to day basis. I have more people that I am engaging with in my office, so why wouldn’t I just give them more of my time instead to Twitter? That will improve my professional life without a doubt.
I just took a quick pause to jump to Twitter and deactivate my account. It says I have 30 days to change my mind and then it will deleted. It also asked me “Was it something we said? Tell us.” – No, it’s because you never listen. I actually tried communicating with Twitter a couple of times but that hit a wall of silence. And indeed all services on my list are those where you have no chance of talking to an actual person. (I just thought, that with all the money they have available, they could at least open some Twitter stores selling tshirts, advertising space and account upgrades, or not selling anything for that matter, just to add the element of human touch and interaction – the concept seems to work very well for Apple).
Talking about time, I estimate that this move will further save me around 30-45 minutes of my time every day. That now feels huge and brings a smile to my face.
In my position, being a family man and working in a startup, the time really flies and many times over I’ve wished for a 48 hour day. Since that is not going to happen, it makes much more sense to try and remove the time wasters.
I was previously spending around 60 minutes a day on Facebook, and since I deleted my account in January I can say that I miss none of that, and fully enjoy a full extra hour of my retrieved time back.
There is an emerging ‘cloud’ of companies in Silicon Valley that constitute what I call a ‘fog bubble’. In my view they basically add layers of ‘fog’ and deception to our lives, preventing us from seeing the light of the day and the reality of the life. These companies include Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Foursquare… and then tons of smartphone apps. Smartphones for that matter too. These products/services often not only add no real, tangible value to our lives, but besides taking our precious time (through addiction, distractions and otherwise) , they are also helping dehumanize us. By this I mean taking us further away from what the essence of humanity is – gratitude, humility, inspiration, invention, heroism and leadership.
For the time being the burden of my professional communication will fall to LinkedIN. It’s been good at carrying this task so far and actually does not require you to spend time on it unnecessarily (to write daily ‘statuses’ or to check on others). It can be used at a strictly professional level.
I wrote this post early in the Sunday morning, sitting on the terrace of a lovely hotel in Rovinj, Croatia. Admiring the view of the sea, and the tranquility of my surrounding, it’s been inspiring. I would really like to attach a photo but I do not have a smartphone 🙂 Oh well, I’ll let you imagine it, or better even, come and visit this place.
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