aNewDomain — I’ve been toying with the idea of quitting Twitter for the last year. And I might have neverdone it were it not for Gen. John Kelly, who pushed me over the edge with his Civil War compromise comments three weeks ago.
On Oct. 20, 2017, I finally got rid of my 10-year-old Twitter account.
How’s it going so far? Everyone keeps asking. So I came up with the following progress report.
More time, way less stress
The most obvious change in my post-Twitter life has to do with the quality of my workday. I no longer am checking Twitter a few times an hour to see the latest Trump outrage and argue about it. And all that tweet reading, retweeting and responding to tweets sure wasted a lot of it.
Bottom line: I have more time.
More importantly, I’m less stressed since I dumped Twitter. Now that I’m not keeping hourly tabs on Trumpian misbehaviors, misinformation and outright lies, I don’t have as much to fulminate about.
I’m happy to report, too, that I don’t feel any less knowledgeable about what’s going on these days. I just assume that sometime during the day I’ll hear about the latest outrage from the various sources I regularly use while working including Google+, Facebook, The Washington Post (both online and print editions), Breitbart News, AP, Reuters and Al Jazeera.
Also at night I’ve taken to checking in regularly to The Economist via an app I scored from my local Alexandria Public Library.
Plus, my wife watches network TV news (which I detest) and she will periodically fill me in on what’s what.
That’s the good news about life after twitter.
But while I’m less stressed overall since I finally quit Twitter, I’m still just as terrified as before by the state of our country and by our declining reputation around the world.
That’s what drove me and lots more of my neighbors here in Virginia to show up in record numbers on Tuesday. (I won’t tell you how I voted, except to say that I sure hope Trump keeps stumping for his cronies the way he did for losing GOP gubernatorial candidate Ed Gillespie.)
I’m still deeply concerned about the speed at which Twitter and other social nets spread astonishing amounts of misinformation, partial truths,, conspiracy theories and lies. But now I can focus on such profound issues in a far more calm and deliberate manner than I could among all the screaming Twitter arguments between anti Trump and pro Trump factions, not to mention the hordes of Russian bots and trolls that seem to travel with and amplify everyone in the latter group.
Not engaging in online feuds lets you focus on what matters which, in this case, is thinking about how to stop our kids from thinking that “states rights” means the right to own slaves.
Getting some distance from Twitter allows me to carefully consider issues like that and come up with ways to act in respond to them, which is far more useful hanging around and arguing on Twitter.
Try it sometime.
For aNewDomain, I’m Dennis D. McDonald.