Goodbye, Twitter

Twitter is no longer edifying. It brings out the worst in people and is bad for sanctification.

I have been thinking about this for a year. I think now is the time to pull the trigger. I have handed over my Twitter account to Philip (the managing editor here) who will be tweeting out links, etc. on my account while I figure out how I want to use Twitter, if at all.

Twitter used to be fun. I met new people and as we interacted more we became friends. But the signal to noise ratio has gotten out of whack. I changed my notification settings to only see notifications from people who follow me. That improved things a bit, but not significantly. Then I changed to seeing only people who I followed and who followed me.

But it just isn't the same and there's a nagging thought in the back of my head. Twitter, like the President, brings out the worst in so many of us -- myself included. I know there are times when I can come off as a raging a--hole on Twitter even when it is not my intent. And then there is the temptation on occasion just to stir the pot.

The feedback loop of mentions can be like a drug. Your mentions and notifications slow down so you tweet again. Not enough? Be provocative. I honestly think Twitter is no longer edifying. The trolls have taken over and they're dragging everyone else down. I don't want to be a part of that. It is not good for my sanctification.

I value the flow of news that comes through Twitter. I probably cannot get away from it altogether because it is so useful for preparing my radio show. But for the next couple of weeks, I'm going to leave it alone. I've deleted the app from my phone. I've deleted the stand alone apps from my Mac. I invited some of my friends into a Slack group that perhaps can serve as one of the twelve steps away from Twitter addiction.

Honestly, the only social media I like is Instagram and it is where I try to avoid political posts. If I have something to say, I'll say it here.

Twitter is a tool to form an instant digital lynch mob. That is what it is being used for. There are good uses, just like a lot of social media, but the bad seems to far outweigh the good. Frankly, I don't want to know the instant thoughts of most people I know. It tends to make me think less of them and turns friends into adversaries for no reason. Politics and religion are things you discuss with people you know that you can have a rational and friendly discussion with, even if you vehemently disagree. Or people you don't know personally anyway. Social media doesn't provide that filter. The true driver of social media is the desire of people of be important and to have someone care what they think, what they eat, what they wear, etc. Once that need is fulfilled, it just turns into a mob where no matter how absurd your ideas on something are, there are many, many others there to support the absurdity. And the ones that don't, then become accursed.


That really isn't a fair characterization.

I have refused to participate in what is called "Social Media". I agree that it is a major component in the decline of civility and thinking, and that it enables and even promotes a mob mentality. By removing the social constructs of disapproval and consequences for bad behavior, social media anonymity promotes the worst side of people, many of whom are desperate for a sense of relevance but have not learned that true relevance comes from actions, from actual participation in life and from contributing something to the world.

Factor in lack of Christian and other common sense values and you have a receipe for what this country is rapidly becoming. If I were to change one thing about our form of government, I would add term limits for those we elect to represent us. I believe allowing people to make a life-time career of "serving" in the Senate or House of Representatives is a big mistake.

I may have an account on Twitter, but I can safely say I have not used it in YEARS. All I ever did was follow you and Neal...