Back when I gave up Twitter for lent I said:
I like to think I’m immune from being influenced by technology such as this, but I know how naïve that thought is.
I definitely noticed that I’d be much less inclined to quickly pull out my iPhone to check updates on Twitter at random moments throughout the day. I can’t say that my time was used that much better because it really is a whole bunch of quick distractions throughout the day – as opposed to, for example, giving up TV for lent where you’ll find whole blocks of time that you’d otherwise spend watching The Bachelor.
Not that I know anyone who does that.
I was also able to focus a lot more on blogging. Rather than quickly tweet about a thought, I’d have to spend a bit more time processing it and coming up with something more interesting to say than what I could spit out in 140 characters. I’m not sure if it was better for anyone else, but I certainly enjoyed the challenge of longer form writing again.
The Noise and the Fury
The main thing I’ve noticed in the day and half since turning my main Twitter account back on is how noisy it is. The retweets from people about topics I don’t care about (you can remove those by looking for this icon), the location updates (people checking in on Foursquare or Gowalla, or people tweeting what a company tells them to in order to be entered into a contest.
I’ve turned off seeing RT’s from most of the people I otherwise find interesting and I’ve un-followed folks who abuse the other examples too much.
It’s All About the Numbers
It’s not really. But for the stats nerds, here’s where I was when I left Twitter for Lent:
Following 487 and 605 followers.
And now here’s where I am after getting back on the Twitter train and kicking some folks off:
Following 378 and 601 followers.
You win some, you lose some.
As with many things in life, particularly in the technology realm, it’s good to remove them for a period to be able to evaluate their worth and whether you really need to keep it around.
I’ll continue to use Twitter, but will be trying to keep it’s distracting ability to a minimum going forward by being strict about who/what I follow and by resisting the urge to quickly check for updates throughout the day.