Deleted Twitter Account

I’ve decided to delete Twitter. It is for multiple reasons in the end.

Reason 1, I was definitely addicted to it. Checked it quite often during the daytime. Deleting off of my phone (and ditto for email) was a good first step, but I still checked it quite a bit when I was on my personal computer.

Reason 2 — there is a XKCD comic about staying up arguing with people on the internet. I was constantly tempted to do this on Twitter. It is never really worth it. Many of the examples that come to mind I did this — had a comment stream with Pete Kraska the other day about grant funding, and in the past Travis Pratt over pre-prints — Pete/Travis had an ounce of truth in their initial statements, but made sweeping generalizations that don’t describe the majority of people (which included me, hence my urge to respond). While they likely did not intend to say something directly about me, they did so in making general stereotyping comments.

I respect each as scholars, but they just have ill-informed opinions in those cases. You would think criminologists would be less likely to attribute the malice of a few to widespread groups of individuals, but so it goes. No doubt I have bad/wrong opinions all the time as well.

Reason 3, a former colleague the other day was upset I liked a tweet that was a critique of their work. This is just one example, but there are a million different things people could take offense to. I am not interested in even the potential of saying or doing something that would result in a sandbag onslaught I’ve seen several times on Twitter. I of course do not intentionally mean to hurt peoples feelings, but I do not feel like defending minor stuff like that either. Worrying about things like that is just not good for my mental health.

There are of course good things I will be missing out on. I initially joined Twitter to keep up on the news. Between Google Scholar and CrimPapers I can keep up on academic work. (Actual news I should definately not be getting my info from tweets!) But the biggest benefit in the end was there are several internet friends I only met on Twitter and would not have had the opportunity to meet without Twitter.

And of course it was nice to tweet a blog post and get a dozen likes (or say something snarky and get 30). So my work will have less exposure than before, but honestly it was not much to begin with. My last post had more likes (around a dozen) than referrals from Twitter (around half that!) Not like tweeting my blog posts resulted in 1000’s of views, more like a few dozen extra most of the time (and a few hundred extra in the best of times). So I will just continue to write blog posts, and they will have a few less views than before. I wish my blog had bigger reach but it is really just my place for creative output.

I encourage folks to always reach out and send me an email to keep in touch if you are one of my former Twitter friends. Academia can be a lonely place in normal times, and with isolating in the pandemic I can’t even imagine what it would be like without my family. I don’t think my time spent on Twitter was good for my personal well being though in the end, even though it did definitely help me be part of a larger community of colleagues and friends. 

Leave a comment

2 Comments

  1. Jeff Boggs

     /  September 14, 2020

    So long as you keep posting here, I’m happy!

    Reply
  2. Erik Alda

     /  September 22, 2020

    Sad to see you go but I do get your points. I am glad I was able to interact with you and I look forward to continue reading your blogposts. E

    Reply

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