I had to go cold turkey on Twitter this morning.
The mash-up of instant messaging, cell text messaging, and email that resembles a virtual water cooler works by letting you choose which messages you read from other people. You choose to “follow” people, and asymmetrically, they choose to follow you. Using Twitterrific, a Macintosh client, you can get continuously refreshed updates from the Twitter-sphere, as well as post Twitter messages. TidBITS head honcho Adam Engst explained Twitter and his own addiction in “Confessions of a Twitter Convert,” 2007-10-09.
While there are practical uses of Twitter, including a TidBITS staff group, I have found that it requires too much regular attention to use, and saps too much of my productivity in a casual way that’s hard to track. If I turn off regular updates and simply read recent Twitter posts, the particular charm of Twitter is lost.
I’ve enjoyed using Twitter immensely, as I’ve reconnected with friends and colleagues, and developed a dialog with a number of people I respect and otherwise have little direct interaction with.
Turning off Twitter feels a bit like moving out of a commune, but I fear that my work life requires me to have more focus than what Twitter can allow.