Why I’m Quitting Twitter (And Why You Might Quit Too)

Do you ever feel a little overwhelmed with modern communications?

Too many emails to reply to? Too many updates to read on LinkedIn? Too many postings to check out on Facebook? Too many blogs to keep updated with? (The irony that this might be one of them isn’t lost on me.)

As someone who spends a huge amount of time delivering workshops and travelling, it can often be a whole day before I’m able to check my messages – both in my inbox and on social media. (It’d be rather rude if I told my delegates, “Hold on a minute, I just need to comment on this posting.”)

What awaits me is often a little overwhelming but, being the conscientious personal brander I am, I knuckle down and try to respond to everything within 24 hours (48 at the outside). The problem is, whilst I’m keeping up with my reactive communications, my proactive ones aren’t doing so well.

A case in point is Twitter

Twitter (and Facebook too, though I’ve never ventured onto that) is a great place for real-time interactions, responding to others’ messages, posting your own, then responding to their responses. But if your situation is like mine and you’re away from your screen for hours on end, that’s rarely feasible. So I’ve always relied on a scheduling system to help me – I set up the tweets, then the system sends them out at the designated time.

It keeps my timeline topped up – and my updates on my followers’ radars – but can feel a little like I’m pushing lots of information out there, without doing my bit to share what others are tweeting.

In an effort to balance that, I’d try and include in my scheduled messages retweets of others’ updates – usually things that tickled my funny bone or intrigued me.

The trouble is, that’s not really what Twitter etiquette is about…as I had pointed out to me.

A fellow tweeter whose message I had shared this way sent a snarky tweet telling me that, for a personal brand guru [his words], my use of twitter was ‘extremely bad’ and I should be retweeting directly, in real-time.

And whilst he definitely put my back up with his tone, plus the fact he called me Jen (I think you already know where I stand on shortening names without asking), he had a valid point. So I stepped back for a moment and thought:

“If I can’t use it properly, why the heck am I using Twitter at all?”

On the plus side:

  • it’s an extra vehicle for me to share my thoughts on personal brand – including when I write a new blog post – alongside those I put out via LinkedIn and emails;
  • and when I can use it in the moment, it’s a quick way to stay in touch with some of my contacts.

But that’s pretty much it. Whereas on the down side:

  • you have to scroll through a lot of inane tweets to get to something interesting;
  • it creates another source of messages that need replying to when I get back online;
  • the majority of my clients and contacts don’t even use Twitter (LinkedIn being their media of choice);
  • scheduling the tweets takes a fair bit of time;
  • there’s the guilt that I’m not interacting with my followers in the way I should;
  • plus people are quick to send you snarky messages if they don’t like what you’re doing.

It also occurred to me I wasn’t even following the very same advice I give my clients:

If you’re going to do social media, do it well or not at all.

So I’ve made a decision: I’m quitting Twitter.

As of the end of September, I’m done with it (I’m staying on until then so I can use the site to share this post letting people I’ll no longer be using the site – which is somewhat Kafkaesque but there’s logic in there somewhere).

After that, I’ll delete the app from my phone, remove the bookmark from my homepage, close down my account and…I hope…gain some precious time back. Who knows? Maybe you’ll want to do the same.

What do you think? Do you love Twitter and think it’s the best thing since sliced bread? Or do you find it a bore and a chore like me? Let me know your thoughts in the comment box below.

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