Monday, April 1, 2013

The Great Internet Fast of 2013: The End (Not Really)

More: On this blog, More on Whether You Should Give Up Twitter
Ed Morrissey, Back from my self-imposed Lenten Twitter exile
Kevin Drum, Twitter, Addiction, and Changing Social Norms

Now that Lent is over, I can go back to my regular daily consumption of approximately 200 blog posts (more when there is big news or some sort of gizmo/video game convention) and lord knows how many tweets, right?

Wrong.

I'm not going back to Twitter. Or rather, I'm not going back to Twitter until I find a way to separate the wheat from the chaff. And on twitter there is a lot of chaff. This extremely accurate chart* suggests that up to 90% of a typical twitter feed is basically a waste of everyone's time. If I could write a filter that only showed me tweets that contained links, that might improve the signal-to-noise ratio to the point where twitter were useful.

After two days without Twitter, I barely missed it; by the second week, I was downright happy not to be thinking about "staying on top" of my feed. I've uninstalled Tweetdeck from my phone, and going forward will only use Twitter to post links to my own blog posts. So my first piece of advice is that you should just stop using Twitter altogether, or find a way to show only those tweets that contain links.

I was much worse when it came to phone noodling or other social media. Moving app usage off of a phone and onto a tablet is generally a good idea, since the temptation to fiddle with a tablet is smaller, and using it is a more pleasant experience all the way around. I suppose the thing to do would be to move my Facebook & forum usage onto the tablet. That leaves only the bus ride as suddenly dull, and for now I'm trying out this new fad called reading printed books as a replacement for checking RSS feeds and doing crossword puzzles.

Note: despite the fact that this is being published on April Fool's Day, I mean it. No more tweeting. I'm out.

* to a first approximation, at least
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