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An Experiment in de-addiction – Deactivating from Twitter

Addiction is what we all suffer from, some from addiction to narcotics, some to alcohol, some to couch surfing. These days, many of us are addicted to social media as it exploded in usage. Facebook is able to get a 500 Billion Dollar Valuation not because it sells something exotic but because it has been able to capture the time and imagination of millions.

“Time flies, whether you’re wasting it or not” wrote Crystal woods and its true then as its now. It’s said on an average, people spent around 50 minutes on facebook each day. An hour a day spent watching countless videos and photographs of people known and unknown.

I have always believed that I am a product of Social Media. I got into Social Media when it was not FB or Twitter that dominated timelines but forums where you spent time reading views of others and arguing the pro’s and con’s.

It was also a period of substantial learning for even though less than 5% of users actually wrote back, those 5% spent significant amount of time to buttress their views and opinions and one that couldn’t be easily challenged.

The arrival of Twitter and Facebook has though demolished such forums for who has the time and inclination to write a 500 word email when you could just post a funny though in 140 characters.

Warren Buffett did not become what he is by reading quotes of Graham but we seem to have come to the conclusion that the way to Nirvana is by reading quotes of the great people while moving in the opposite direction in our own way.

I have been on Twitter for nearly 9.5 years and during this time, have tweeted out more than 56 thousand tweets. For all the time I have spent, I have been able to accumulate a total of 17 thousands followers.

I am without doubt an addict to twitter but once in a while I have always thought as to how much of value it has added to me compared to the amount of time I have spent on reading, replying, re-tweeting the hundreds and thousands of tweets that keep rolling off my twitter stream every single day.

Reading books has always been a hobby of mine from school days and yet somewhere I lost that commitment. Thanks to arrival of Amazon and its patented one click ordering, I have been able to get back to reading.

But reading is tough, it requires one to put aside other thoughts that may try to occupy the mind and focus intensively on the book on hand. Addition to Twitter makes that near impossible for there is always the thought that lurks in the back of the mind even when I am in the midst of the reading – has anyone tweeted to me, am I missing out on any interesting tweet among many others.

My table and book shelf is loaded with books, some of which can really help achieve what I wish to achieve only if I can put in the time required. Addiction to Twitter makes that nearly impossible for the mind is too timid to resist the attraction to reading things that one can relate to or not.

Speaking of reading, I am currently in the middle of Cal Newport’s Deep Work. This is a phenomenal book that explores the impact of new age technologies and how they impact our ability to do what we are else capable of.

People are remembered and honored for what they achieved in their real life and twitter can be real damaging even to those who aren’t as much addicted as some of us. Have a doubt, well just ask Elon Musk.

In the past, I had tried half measures to get rid of twitter’s ability to take-over my time like no other but half measures always fail. It’s taken a long time but as I now understand, the first thing to accept is to accept that one is addicted. Treatment can and shall follow later.

It’s a matter of great pleasure that I am followed by many people who have achieved a lot in their real life. Yet, if at all I wish to get anywhere close to where I want to reach, I need to work smarter and better and this cannot be achieved by being on Twitter 24 * 7.

So, as an experiment, I shall de-activate twitter tonight. Twitter TOS suggests that I will then have 30 days to restore my account. If being out proves too hard, count on it for me to come back. On the other hand, if I can survive the 30 days and be able to accomplish things I want, well, this will be permanent.

“I’ll live the focused life, because it’s the best kind there is.” – Winifred Gallagher                 


4 Responses to “An Experiment in de-addiction – Deactivating from Twitter”

  1. Drastic step no doubt but warranted perhaps as social media eats up more and more of our time. I have felt this way about Facebook for long. Been wanting to deactivate but then I like the group feature there where I have really benefitted. Somehow I have managed to be detached on Twitter. All the best.

    Posted by Mr. Sunil Arora | 26th August 2018, 6:28 am
  2. Hope the regular blogposts and knowledge sharing shall continue on this website.

    Posted by Purav | 27th August 2018, 10:08 am
  3. But don’t you think through these social media you have been able too meet so many beautiful people. In fact our function is also somewhat was through Twitter. Instead of shutting off completely you can restrict and become selective.

    Posted by Amitvikram M (@amitvikramm) | 27th August 2018, 3:16 pm

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