I’ve left Twitter

After 13 years (or more) I’ve deactivated my main Twitter account @pilgrimchris. Before I explain why (and it won’t take long) I’ll give a quick explanation of why I joined Twitter in the first place.

I joined Twitter out of necessity as it was, at the time, the only way I could create a @socialhiking account.
SocialHiking, or www.shareyouradventure.com, was a great way of sharing my hiking adventures with a wider audience and I loved it (the service is about to close unfortunately).

Over the years on Twitter I have made some good friends and have enjoyed much fun, banter and discussion. I gained a modest 3,500 followers and discovered interesting people I wouldn’t have otherwise.

However, in recent times, I have found myself more and more uncomfortable using Twitter. Out of those 3,500 followers I’d only engage with the same dozen or so regularly (always great engagement), whilst I rarely engaged with the vast majority. This, I know, is the nature of Twitter and whilst follower numbers have never been important to me (I don’t use the platform as any kind of marketing tool) it has made me realise that I prefer more direct communication with my friends and colleagues without the distraction and noise that a Twitter timeline invariably brings with it.

For me, the Twitter experience has become toxic. Apart from the wonderful engagement with the few, I find the incessant negativity of agendas far outweighs the positivity of healthy debate. Far more times than not I leave a session on Twitter feeling like I’ve been punched in the stomach.

I’m aware that my own interaction with certain conversations has been less than ideal… it is this lessening of me as a person that, ultimately, has led me to quit Twitter as @pilgrimchris. I was, at times, becoming the very thing I detested in others – a self opinionated prick.

Twitter has never been a necessity for me. It was always a place to ‘hang out’ occasionally with like-minded folk and have fun – whether that be daft humour or more serious debates or anything in between. I just don’t feel like it’s fun anymore.

So…. I’ve deactivated my account. I have 30 days to decide whether this is the right decision for me after which Twitter will permanently delete my account. Maybe, during those 30 days, I can work out how to use Twitter in a way that brings me joy instead of pain: if so I’ll reactivate my main account (although I suspect if I do I’ll be trimming both my followers and followed numbers quite severely and locking my account)

If not, then I’ll simply let my account die a natural death.

5 thoughts on “I’ve left Twitter

  1. Hi Chris,
    I took the, perhaps luddite, decision not to “do social media” a few years ago, alarmed even then, pre-Cambridge Analytica, at stories of the malevolent use to which anything I put there could be pressed without my buy-in. When something’s free, you’re usually the product, right? OK, I do use YT and WhatsApp if they count.
    It’s your reference to the lessening of one that really resonated and is a great reason to disengage, so I applaud your decision and the rationale. I too used to get sucked in to trading blows, in my case with YouTube comments, until I stepped back and realised how diminished I felt doing it, so it’s either positive comments, a genuine question or nothing from me on there now.
    You might go back to Twitter – 3500 followers isn’t too shabby if they’re still reading what you post – but perhaps do it on your own terms from now on? Meanwhile, welcome to the world of not knowing which Kardashian’s which 😁.

  2. Well done Chris, I’ve never been on Twitter but everything you’ve sent me on email or I’ve read on blogs has always been interesting. Thank you also for introducing me to that wonderful author, Fozzie – compelling reading!

    • I’m spending more time on my blog so hopefully you’ll stick around Frank 🙂
      As for Fozzie – I’m glad I was able to bring him to your attention. A great author and even better human being. Proud to call him a mate.

      • Still reading the AT and kind of sad that he has given up hiking. I know it comes to us all but he is a young man still. I must wish I was his age.
        Look forward to all you have to say. You guys have a talent. I can walk the walk but to write about is a talent, you and Fozzie have it! Be safe, Frank.

Your Comments Welcome