At first it was because it was new. Let me try it out.
Then it was because it was addicting. I’ll follow this person, and this organization, and this music artist. More information, please.
Then it was really helpful instant news. I can use it to know when a tornado is near all my friends.
Then it became what it was never meant to be. I unfollowed a few people for their explicit sexual content. I unfollowed people who fought with each other over public tweets. I unfollowed people who only informed me about their concerts. I saw stuff my students tweeted that broke my heart.
Then I started justifying it as a good ministry tool. But I can know what’s really going on with my students.
The problem with that is it wasn’t really my students. It was the persona they put out to everyone; it’s who they want people to think they are. The real students I know from face-to-face time, and real, honest conversations. Those are my real students, not the Twitter versions of them.
Then somewhere along the line, my life got cluttered. I think, ultimately, our generation is seriously addicted to information. But I don’t think our brains are designed to hold all this random input on a daily, hourly basis, as we refresh Twitter hoping to see something interesting. It’s exhausting, just reading what pops up every 30 seconds, feeling the need to compulsively check it often. As if we needed something else other than Facebook to inauthentically connect with more people and things.
Twitter makes me tired.
Not only that, but contributes to my already blatant narcissism. I am just as guilty of trying to put off a persona that everyone will like, or respect, or admire. I love writing and blogging, don’t get me wrong, but the ridiculously small amount of 140 characters makes you carefully craft each tweet knowing that one word could change what people think about you. That’s too much pressure. I’d rather be judged by someone who really knows me, or even reads an entire blog post explaining my thoughts, than someone who has seen my 140 character snippets of thoughts. Twitter is not writing. And I don’t need another way to be obsessed with myself when I know I already am. It’s the human condition from birth…and I don’t need to feed the Narcissist Monster, and worry about “follow backs.”
Twitter is just not making me a better person, just a tired one. Nor is it able to help me form better, quality relationships, just more surface ones. The time I collectively spend on there could be used to go out to coffee with someone and really get to know the real them. I challenge you to do the same. Life is too short.