The Twitter Reset
“It’s okay to think about what you want to do until it was time to start doing what you were meant to do.” – Jim Morris Sr. – From “The Rookie”
Several years ago, my friend Andrew finally convinced me to get a twitter account. I didn’t need one. Twitter was a fledgling little operation in comparison to today’s behemoth of a social media enterprise. I wasn’t really interested in finding out about what people were doing every second of the day, and I wasn’t interested in posting the exact same as a response. But in the end, I was awed by the concept that it was a “micro-blog”, that allowed you to express “what are you doing” 140 characters at a time.
Shortly after I got plugged into the Twittersphere, I developed a small following. I eventually found the Twitter Poker Tour group and got really plugged into opportunities that I would have never expected. The whole social media world became my job, my new reality. And before I realized it, my real life was my social media life. I’m not sure exactly when that happened, but every detail of every aspect of my life was involved with who was doing what on twitter, and waiting for anyone in my list of people that I followed to simply post something new to the site, waiting with baited breath to see who was going to the next person to communicate with me on my timeline.
It became a necessity to post all the time, about everything. And as the simplicity of twitter became more popular, the complexity of twitter became apparent. Twitter has since exploded into one giant conversation among the entire world that is simply too difficult to follow or keep up with any longer. It’s become so popular that live shows have to read twitter posts in the middle of their programs or show a “Twitter Crawl” at the bottom of the screens. Baseball games show tweets from people at the game on the jumbo-tron. Large LCD billboards display live twitter feeds, and every advertisement encourages people to follow them at @(fill in the name here). It’s all the rage.
What I’ve learned is that this new rage to get to as many followers as you possibly can makes absolutely no sense any longer to me. I still like the micro blog aspect, and I still enjoy getting the messages in my replies, but I no longer initiate conversations like I used to. But I also don’t want to get back to a point that I was so starved to see what was in my feed either. So for me, it was simply about hitting the reset button on twitter, and starting over.
I unfollowed everyone on my twitter account today, and I’m going to give some thought as to whom, if anyone really, that I want to follow in my feed. I still use twitter to check on trending things in this world, like the news, sports, and honestly the poker world. But my life has really moved away from poker altogether, and I want to distance myself from the game as much as I can, and focus more on my family.
This year, I have my final two children leaving elementary school and graduating into Jr. High. And then my other two girls will be going onto High School this fall as well. I have only got a few more years left where my kids are actually going to want to spend time with me, and I don’t want there to be any distractions from my family, which is what really matters to me the most. I don’t want to miss opportunities with the people around me because I’m so intently focused on the noise that is coming from my iPhone. I’ll still mini-blog the cool stuff, more as a keep sake for me. And I’ll likely find a couple of follows that will keep my plugged into the things that I’m interested in hearing about. But I don’t really need anything else from twitter any longer. And so, I’m moving on.
This isn’t really the direction that I saw this post heading, or even something that I had planned out or given a lot of thought to. But I was instantly happy with the decision and I’m looking forward to not being tethered to my social media feed.