This Is Goodbye, Twitter: It Was (Sort of) Fun While It Lasted …

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After 10 years of tweeting, DENNIS D. MCDONALD finally deleted his Twitter account. Here’s what pushed him over the edge.

dennis d. mcdonald alienaNewDomain — Well, it’s official. Today I deleted my Twitter account.

It’s not as if I hadn’t considered it before. I’ve been on Twitter for more than 10 years.

So what finally drove me over the edge?

I think it was General Kelly’s news conference about Trump’s conversations with the family members of deceased servicemen. I just wanted to draw a curtain over this entire tragic affair.

Also, I don’t need to know any more about Trump’s lack of empathy or his increasingly obvious lack of qualifications for the job.

Our country is facing major problems right now. We should focus on how to repair the damage being done now and in the future not only to our own citizens but also to our reputation in the world. And Twitter is not helping.

What initially attracted me to Twitter was its brevity and its ability to let me interact with people around the world. Over time, though, it’s evolved into something that is completely different from its simple original offering.

I’m not convinced, for example, that the addition of images to Twitter was such a good idea, despite the “picture is worth a thousand words” defense. Twitter images frequently contain difficult-to-read text or are illustrating repeated advertising focused on brand awareness.

I have nothing against advertising, but being forced to scan through piles of irrelevant or out-of-context messages is generating an increasingly unattractive signal-to-noise ratio. This will only gets worse as the length of individual messages is increased.

There are other factors that led me to drop Twitter, too.

One is Twitter authors’ increasing reliance on on numbered “threads” to present complex arguments or ideas. Haven’t these people ever heard of blogs?

The other is the bots. The prevalence of “bots” that pounce on political discussions to present simplistic or poorly worded partisan diatribes is beyond  annoying. I’m always wondering if I’m interacting with a real person or with software. (Ed: There is a tool here to help you identify the Russian bots on Twitter.)

Could it be that the problems we are now facing as a nation are just too serious to be addressed via a medium as ephemeral or as short-attention-span-oriented as Twitter?

My answer to that question is yes. So goodbye, Twitter. It’s been real.

For aNewDomain, I’m Dennis D. McDonald.

An earlier version of this story ran on Dennis D. McDonald’s DDMCD site. Read it here.

About the author

Dennis D McDonald

Dennis D. McDonald is an independent consultant based in Alexandria Virginia. His interests include project, program, and data management; market assessment, digital strategy, and program planning; change and content management; social media; and technology adoption. Clients have included the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs, National Academy of Engineering, the World Bank, University Research Co., Catalyst Rx, the National Library of Medicine and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.