Last night, for no particular reason, I de-registered from the social website Twitter. To those of you who have wisely never bothered to log on to Twitter this will mean nothing. But to the Twitterati this is a major decision. It’s up there with a divorce or at least a break up with a long term partner.
I went onto Twitter just over a year ago at the behest of Alec Hogg who runs Moneyweb. He reckoned that all his top writers (and I dominated the ratings every week I have to modestly admit) should be part of the growing social media revolution. I can’t stand Facebook so refused that point blank but I couldn’t see any harm in a website that gave you 140 characters to tell people what you were doing. So I enrolled under the name Guntherlunch and attracted over 1150 followers which is pretty good by Twitter standards. So why did I decide to let them all down and de-register from Twitter?
Well, to start with, it’s banal. You need to be suffering from narcissistic personality disorder to go onto Twitter. You are encouraged to Tweet short pithy messages telling people what you are doing but how many people lead such fascinating lives that we actually want to know what they have been doing? Very few. My daily tweets were of the non politically correct variety but how many of my 1150 followers were reading them? Again, very few as it happened because if I’m not up on their current Twitter screen when I Tweet then the majority of my followers would have missed my pearls of wisdom unless they log onto my page. That’s unlikely to happen because there are some people who claim to “follow” hundreds of twitterers. That simply can’t work because you would spend your entire life reading what other people were up to.
I followed about 20 people and that was more than enough. I thought I had picked some fascinating individuals but you have no idea how boring the minutiae of other people’s lives can be. Which means that even the embellished minutiae of my life could be just as boring. Which is why I felt I had to spare my 1150 followers the pain and get out while I still had my sanity.
The problem with something like Twitter is that it is time consuming and has no point. It’s a cyber meeting place for losers which is why you won’t find very many successful business people on Twitter. They simply don’t have the time. But it’s worse than that. It’s addictive because you keep going on to see if some other loser has responded to you or posted a new Tweet. Twitter congratulates itself that it is sometimes the source of breaking news but the sad reality is that the banal far outweighs the significant. There are people on Twitter that you would avoid like the plague at a party so why would want to read what they have to say on a social website?
When I de-registered from Twitter I felt an amazing sense of freedom. I no longer feel obliged to update my profile or my page and I never again need to read the thoughts of some of the most dreary people in the universe. It’s a wonderful feeling and the only thing that puzzles me is why I hung in there for so long.