30 Reasons I’m Deactivating My Twitter in 30 Days

(1) Do less to do (think, feel) more (i.e., I jam econo) … (2) I got on there (then I got off there then I got back on), all because I am a writer and I believed I needed a “presence” to “promote my work” — like I couldn’t not be on there … (3) Zadie Smith doesn’t have a Twitter. Neither does her husband. They don’t even have smartphones … (4) I’m not good at Twitter … (5) I don’t enjoy it … (6) I will not be missed there because (7) my presence there is unnecessary … (8) The poet Darcie Dennigan said something one time about how most poems, most whole books of poems, aren’t necessary but they should be and if what you’re writing is not necessary, you have a responsibility to not publish it (that’s a paraphrase); I feel like if that’s true of poems (and it is) then it’s probably true of tweets (Darcie Dennigan’s not on Twitter either) … (9) Most people who tweet are not good at Twitter … (10) Being good at Twitter is like being good at anything else: you have to immerse yourself in it; some natural talent or predisposition helps but it’s mostly about that immersion, that willingness to put in the time — I’m not willing to put in the time … (11) There are quite a few things I’m not willing to put in the time I would need to invest to do them well: learn to play guitar; sing; read like a great novelist reads; play golf; draw faces, hands, anything in the visual arts really; run a marathon; shoot free throws; play Scrabble or chess or Risk; I’m sure there are other things too. And those are (mostly) things I’d like to be good at. So Twitter needs to get in line behind all those other things I’d rather be good at but will never take the time time master … (12) I lost my thumb drive in March; it’s pandemic related, somehow: there was a rush to pack up my classroom at school the day we shut down, and somehow it (the thumb drive) just got lost. It had all my current work on it. Novel manuscripts. Short stories. Various nonfiction projects. All of it pretty much gone. My response spoke volumes: I wasn’t frantic to find it; I was relieved. I was glad to be rid of it, the expectations I had for those projects, the expectations they had of me. The world is experiencing a massive start-over moment right now. The energy is about shedding. Shedding what’s unnecessary. And it turns out a lot of what we thought was necessary just wasn’t. Or anyway: a lot of what I thought was necessary just wasn’t … (13) I sleep better without it … (14) Some people who tweet are great at it, btw, they’re doing just fine, and I don’t have anything to add that will improve upon how or what they’re doing … (15) Twitter stresses me out (or makes me feel bad: ashamed, guilty, afraid, self-conscious, regretful, lost, confused…) more than it makes me laugh or inspires me … (16) I have this blog and that’s fine … (17) I don’t know how to use Twitter the way someone like me should use it; I, instead, use it as if I have an audience and … (18) I don’t have an audience … (19) I’m not interested in using it any other way, though; I know there are other ways to use it but I’m not interested in that (please see #11 above) … (20) I don’t have time for it. I’m annoyed, actually, at how long it’s taking to even write this rationale for why I want to leave Twitter … (21) I’m not a very social person, frankly, and they call it social media for a reason … (22) There’s this line in a David Budbill poem where he goes, “I want to be famous so I can be humble about being famous.” Might be a paraphrase and I don’t know where the line breaks go, but there you go. That was how I felt about authorship and self-promotion for a long time. That’s not the right reason to be on Twitter (much less to write books) (Pretty sure David Budbill’s not on Twitter either) … (23) I think a lot of what the world needs from me and people like me right now is for us to just shut up and listen and learn … (24) Twitter is not the place for shutting up, listening, and learning … (25) I’m pretty sure I’m not as smart as I think I am: Twitter has helped me realize that, and that’s actually a good thing, something I’m better off knowing (so thanks Twitter) … (26) I have a hunch my life won’t change at all if I’m not on there, just as my life didn’t change at all when I published my first book, or the second one, or the sixth … (27) My life has changed since I got back on Twitter, it’s just that those changes have nothing to do with Twitter … (28) My life is more demanding now, and much better, but there’s less time to spend on myself … (29) Giving that time to Twitter feels like giving it away … (30) The prospect of not being on Twitter feels a lot like it felt to lose my thumb drive. Addition by subtraction. Long overdue. Ready now for the start of something completely different.