1. Hi Guest: Welcome to TRIBE, Toronto's largest and longest running online community. If you'd like to post here, or reply to existing posts on TRIBE, you first have to register on the forum. You can register with your facebook ID or with an email address. Join us!

Wow. If You Think Quitting Booze Freaks People Out, Wait ‘Til You Quit Twitter

Discussion in 'TRIBE Main Forum' started by glych t.anomaly, Aug 29, 2010.

  1. glych t.anomaly

    glych t.anomaly TRIBE Member


    Wow. If You Think Quitting Booze Freaks People Out, Wait ‘Til You Quit Twitter

    I promise this is my last word on the subject.

    I had already promised myself, actually, that I wouldn’t write any more about my decision to quit Facebook, Linkedin, Foursquare, Blippy, Yammer, Dopplr and every other social network other than Twitter. But then I added Twitter to the list – deleting my 10,000+ follower account and returning to more traditional blogging – and suddenly all (social media) hell broke loose.

    For reasons I can’t quite understand – it’s not like I’ve quit food or oxygen – my inbox has since been flooded with emails. Some are just standard notes of congratulations for cutting the cord while others scream that I’m a Luddite who doesn’t ‘get’ Twitter (by and large these are the same people who describe themselves as “social media ninja”s on their profiles: the modern day equivalent of those “My other car is the Batmobile” bumper stickers).

    The majority of messages, though, are from people who are strongly considering following my lead, but are worried that their body or mind might not be able to cope with the shock. How do I feel since quitting? Can I offer them any advice?

    The semi-amusing thing is, this isn’t the first time I’ve experienced this kind of email flood of congratulations, insults and pleas for guidance. It happened last October too: when I finally made the decision to quit drinking. Make of that what you will.

    The difference is that, back in October, I completely understood the tsunami of mail. Millions of people struggle with alcohol addiction – and for those who do, it’s a serious problem. Any advice or encouragement could be the difference between life and death. Certainly it was for me.

    But giving up Twitter? Seriously? Are there really people who can’t get out of bed in the morning without sending a 140 character update, just to stop their thumbs shaking from the night before? (The RT DTs?). Or addicts who surreptitiously tweet throughout the work day, from a phone hidden in their desk drawer, hoping that their workmates don’t find out? People who are unable to stop at just one “OH:”, sending more and more before they blackout, ready to start the whole Bukowskian cycle again the next day?

    Judging by my inbox, the answer is yes, there are.

    But, unlike with drink, I don’t feel their pain. In fact, giving up Twitter (and the rest) has been a veritable walk in the park. I’ve barely suffered any withdrawal symptoms, I don’t feel any sense of loss, and I’ve certainly not found it any harder to enjoy parties or talk to women without a phone in my hand (and I say that as someone who not long ago started dating a flight attendant after I tweeted about her on a plane. Seriously: I had a problem.)

    I admit, though, it does feel odd. For more than two years I’ve been accustomed to sending half a dozen tweets a day, whenever something even vaguely notable happened. Lunch with a friend? Tweet. See someone nearly get hit by a car? Tweet. Think of a funny (ish) joke? Tweet. Fight with a friend or loved-one? Cryptic tweet. Like a Japanese tourist compulsively photographing everything he sees, it was almost as if something didn’t really happen unless it was captured in 140 characters and shared with the world.

    At a stroke, that’s all changed. Now if I see someone nearly getting it by a car, my initial reaction is the same as before – “holy shit! someone just nearly got hit by a car!” – but that reaction remains inside my head. And yet, amazingly, even without my 140 character acts of vital citizen journalism the world has carried on turning. And what of jokes? Is my brain filling up with amusing observations and bons mots that, unless released, will cause it to haemorrhage? No. I just write them down in my notebook to be used later: an act which – and this did surprise me – gives me almost exactly the same satisfaction as sharing them with 10,000 followers.

    The only downside, really, is the occasionally jarring sense that something is missing from my enjoyment of an experience. An involuntary twitch as I reach for my phone and realise I don’t do that any more. I imagine anyone who has quit smoking feels a similar way occasionally; particularly in postprandial or post-coital situations. But the feeling soon passes. Maybe I should start chewing gum?

    As for the benefits: they’ve been both noticeable and persistent. For one thing I’ve rediscovered the joy of making notes, and then refining those notes – sharpening jokes and tweaking arguments, all using a pen and paper – prior to publication. I’ve also come to re-appreciate sharing thoughts with my actual friends – taking the time to email or text or IM someone who I actually know in the real world, to share something I think they alone would enjoy or appreciate. I’ve remembered what it feels like to laugh loudly at a joke without having to disrupt the flow of conversation for two minutes while I “overhear” it. I’ve become closer to my real friends, and more distant from total strangers. Which seems like the right direction for things to be moving in.

    One of the other things I’ve been asked – probably fifty times – if whether I expect to stick to my decision over the long-term or whether, like others who have tried to quit Twitter before me, I’ll come crawling back in a few weeks.

    My knee-jerk response is to scream “are you kidding me? I’ve been sober for 312 days. If I don’t miss that shit, then I think I’ll be fine without knowing what Guy Kawasaki thinks about the world.” (SPOILER ALERT: nothing)

    My more, uh, sober answer, though, is disturbingly similar to the one I give about returning to the sauce: I don’t know if I’ll go back to it. Certainly my life is noticeably better without it, I have more time, I’m closer to my friends and I’m getting more work done. But who knows how I’ll feel tomorrow?

    The only thing I do know is that, in terms of things that are actually hard to live without, I’m far more likely to succumb to the craving for delicious, delicious beer before I surrender to the almost negligible desire to send another fucking tweet.


    this article was a good read. im glad to say that the only social network site i belong to is bookface,(other than tribe, cuz its local and relevant to me personally and people i know) and even that im using less and less as a way to broadcast things, and more only as a communication tool, for people i actually know. and to that end, i am becoming very displeased with their business practice, and am not wanting to support them for much longer, but we will see.

    what i did find very noteworthy in this article, and found it to be a fairly profound realization is that, the effort the most of us daily put into these online status updates etc, if used to talk to our friends and family, would make the associations that are important to me better, which i believe i have been trying to do, but there is always room for improvement.

    so my question is, , after reading the article, do you think you could quit pretty much all forms of soical networking? could you deal with it, would you freak out?

    i enjoy some aspects of bookface, the fact that i do take enjoyment in the some of things people post, but on the flip side, knowing all that also takes away the from the enjoyment of being told the same thing in person, i guess it depends on the type of communication/experience you want from your associations.

    anyways, i think i could do it without much issue, but again i would also probably need a reason/catalyst for 86'ing my account.

  2. JamesM

    JamesM TRIBE Member

    I've never twitted b4. But I've facebooked. Tried to quit it once, but they made it too damn easy to reactivate it.
  3. glych t.anomaly

    glych t.anomaly TRIBE Member

    i twitted for like a week, couldnt understand why it was so appealing, considering facebook allows me to do the exact same thing, and deleted my account, never looked back.

  4. JamesM

    JamesM TRIBE Member

    yeah but facebook has all sorts of useless stuff like friends and photo's.

    we just want the 255 character one liner about your foodstuffs or dump.

  5. tripleup

    tripleup TRIBE Member

    After long hating the "mememe" attention-whore concept of twitter, I decided to actually try it last week.

    Great for breaking info for the sports I follow, plugging into the poker, MMA, and fantasy sports communities, and getting often hilarious thoughts from some of my favourite comedians and actors.

    I don't tweet or care about followers, as I'm content to use it like an RSS feed for information that interests me. Although during UFC 118 last night I was able to have a solid conversation with quite a few mainstream media members that use twitter during cards.
  6. JamesM

    JamesM TRIBE Member

    how else would double complete rainbow pick up so much speed. twitter vs. facebook. lets poll this shit.
  7. tripleup

    tripleup TRIBE Member

    Probably my favourite thing is starting your day with words of encouragement from his holiness The Dalai Lama.
  8. Dirty Girl

    Dirty Girl TRIBE Member

    twitter is stupid, i dont get it. people post their every move...with pictures, but they have like 30 followers, so clearly noone cares. I think its only any use for famous people, cause they can promote their stuff and it helps us little people feel more connected to them, and shows them as more normal people. of course it all did for me was show me that most famous are really fucking boring and do not party like rockstars, even lindsay lohan never says anything of any interest, and always sounds totally sober and boring on it.

    However, I would die without facebook, as that and tribe are my only connections to the real world. I would go completely insane without facebook, without a doubt. and Ive found a lot of people on it that i lost contact with,and would have never found again, so i def like it for that. And I like snooping thru peoples pics, like this one chick from high school works on a cruise ship, so right now shes cruising all over greece, so i get to look at all her pics, and I like that.
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2010
  9. alexd

    alexd Administrator Staff Member

    I set up a twitter account as an experiment a few months ago and I am bored with it already. Some friends totally swear by it and one girl I know tweets her every move. I am just going to use the autofeed from now on I reckon to feed random thread links from TRIBE into it.

    Facebook is insidious but it so filling up with crap and 'like' updates that I am soon going to pack that in as well if it gets any worse.
  10. glych t.anomaly

    glych t.anomaly TRIBE Member

    see this is what i am saying.

    facebook started out well, but with increased usage and the opportunity to make money, its brutal, i dont know what i would do without Chrome and Adblock so im not inundated with so many meager attempts at mass marketing.

    and their business practice is really starting to upset me, let alone their default laughable privacy settings.

    trying to patent the word ' face ' or ' book ' so no one else can use those in any way that infringes upon facebook's use of the words????? really???

    if i could convince all the people i know and like to join diaspora, or something along the lines of what facebook was when it was a start up, i would do it in a second, but as the nature of the beast, how long till that site becomes the same thing?

    if google actually makes something that does what facebook does, i would love to see a mass move to a meduim, that provides quality free services globally, without appearing to be a bunch of cunts.

  11. solacevip

    solacevip TRIBE Promoter

    I enjoy Facebook. I enjoy Foursquare (I don't need to broadcast where I'm at.....I like checking in and winning badges)

    Twitter I find the least appealing. What I love most about twitter is following professional athletes and sports writers during Fantasy Football and Basketball season. You seem to get the most up to date info before gameday.

    I can totally see how some people get addicted to these things. But like everything else.....moderation is the key.
  12. tripleup

    tripleup TRIBE Member

    Like google isn't a mass-data gathering bunch of cunts themselves. :rolleyes:
  13. Dialog

    Dialog TRIBE Member

    They did. This past February. And it turned out that Google Buzz could be as horrendous as Facebook. This after the world-changing Open Social was released and ... didn't change the world, or affect Facebook in any demonstrable manor.

    And Google owns Orkut.
  14. glych t.anomaly

    glych t.anomaly TRIBE Member

    i never said they didnt do that, or about facebook.

    i disagree with facebooks business practice.
    and as a social networking site, i find much of what they offer useless and unecessary.

  15. glych t.anomaly

    glych t.anomaly TRIBE Member

    Buzz was garbage, and once they realized the mistakes they made with it, have done little else with it, and you could disable it entirely.

    Wave, another flop, for so many reasons its not funny.

    But there seems to be some interesting moves towards what they are going to eventually offer, and i am not going to disregard that just because of previous failures, no one is perfect, but for the most part they provide quality services.

    and i cant remember them doing something as underhanded IMO as trying to patent a word used by hundreds of thousands of business owners.

  16. kirstenmeows

    kirstenmeows TRIBE Member

    If used effectively, Facebook is still relevant. I only add people I actually know onto mine, and it has been great for keeping in touch. I have maxxed my security settings and blocked all of the stupid games like Farmville (sorry Michy). When used as a social thing, it's a lot of fun.

    As for Twitter, the whole thing sounds just plain stupid. I refuse to 'tweet'. I tend to have verbal diarrhoea anyways and 140 characters is never going to cut it. I'm not interested in 'following' anyone anyways.

    No matter which social network you choose to use these days, you're always going to get inundated with spam advertising. All you can do is maximize your ad blockers and hope for the best. I am more than capable of ignoring a lot of crap.
  17. Hi i'm God

    Hi i'm God TRIBE Member

    Cognitive dissonance up in here.
  18. ila

    ila TRIBE Member

    Facebook keeps me in touch with my friends. It's great for arranging and keeping track of meet-ups, dinners, events and whatnot. It's also great for seeing pics from friends vacations and shit.

    I don't get twitter. I have tried twice and I find it high maintenance and annoying. I don't have a good reason to stay that plugged-in nor do I have a desire to. Especially with strangers/celebs/artists. I can't bring myself to care enough.
  19. rawd

    rawd TRIBE Member

    me three
  20. KillaLadY

    KillaLadY TRIBE Member

    I don't tweet, I just have an account to get info on shit like concerts, MMA stuff, etc...
  21. Dirty Girl

    Dirty Girl TRIBE Member

    lmao. thats ok, i havent played farmville in months, im all about frontierville now.
  22. sk8

    sk8 TRIBE Member

    Yup - I use it for the same thing. Most of my friends don't live in the same city as me, so I can see what they are up to (for instance a guy i used to party with in london just married a girl i used to swim with from ages 9-14 - CRAZY!), they can see what I'm up to and those who choose to look at my kid pics can without me being the annyoing "look how cute my kids are" emailer not knowing who wants to see what.

    Twitter is useless to me as I don't have a cell phone that I do any internetting with and doing it from home/work seems a little ridiculous.
  23. dstarr

    dstarr TRIBE Member

    Once you start getting past your mid twenties and into your thirties, Facebook becomes the land of babies and weddings. It's boring but then again, most of my friends are boring so I guess that is expected.

    Twitter is ok and it can be a great way to meet people and expand your network . It can also be great for keeping up to date on news.

    You just have to be sure to use tweetdeck or something that helps keep your twitter stream organized and if you're following any decent number of people, you MUST use well targeted and specific lists.

    I see that there are people who chirp back and forth ALL DAY on Twitter so you have to avoid them or parse them out into their own list.
  24. kirstenmeows

    kirstenmeows TRIBE Member

    Is it possible to refer to tweeting, tweetdeck, twitter, or chirp with a straight face?

    I can't.
  25. alexd

    alexd Administrator Staff Member

    Dalton McGinty just got a twitter account, so you know it has taken a trajectory downward...

Share This Page