Two weeks without Twitter: an experiment

Have you gone without Twitter and lived to tell the story?

I joined Twitter in September 2008 to see what all the fuss was about. This, of course, was right in the middle of the economic meltdown, and the US presidential race between Obama and McCain was just heating up, so there was plenty to talk about. Prior to joining Twitter, I didn't quite grasp it. I mean, I'm really not that interesting, and I figured that nobody would really care about what I had to say anyway.

But it didn't take long before I figured it out. I tweeted on a frequent basis--at least several times a day. I followed some well-known tech-heads, and had some follow me. Most of my tweets weren't banal posts like "Feeding the dogs" or "Going for a walk;" most were short bits of commentary and dialogue with other Twitter users. I used it as a microblog (which, in one PC World editor's opinion, is the right way to use Twitter), not as a play-by-play account of my rather uninteresting life.

About two weeks ago, though, I deleted my Twitter account and went Twitter-less. I did this for a couple reasons: I wanted to see how hooked I was on Twitter (if at all), and I wanted to see whether or not anyone would notice that I dropped off the map. I was fairly active as I mentioned earlier, but I had a fairly small following mostly comprised of friends, coworkers, and a handful of other techies.

The result? After an initial urge to post on Twitter out of habit, I survived pretty well without it. And some did notice my absence, so apparently those who follow me did indeed pay some attention to what I was saying.

Will I re-join Twitter? I just might. A lot has been made about so-called Twitter addiction (and talk that it has jumped the shark) in the media as of late, but for me at least, it isn't an issue. Twitter is more or less a fun diversion where I can see what others are saying and chime in from time to time. In that regard, it serves more as a free-form online message board, not a platform for self-promotion as some have called it.

Have you gone without Twitter and lived to tell the story? Post a comment below!

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Nick Mediati

PC World (US online)

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