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Today I deleted my Twitter account.  I enjoyed the platform at first, several years ago. As a columnist it was a fun place to share content.  Then, in due course (like so many things online) it became unacceptably toxic.  It became an electronic forum for bullies. It became a place of cancel-culture and harassment where no motive was pure enough and no comment innocent enough that someone couldn’t find a reason to attack someone else.

It became the place where otherwise intelligent colleagues went and spent hours scrolling through angry, depressing stories, spiraling into dark places of the soul.  A place where time was wasted.  People who could have been exercising, learning, getting Vitamin D, hugging their spouses or children, almost anything else, became enthralled with small blurbs of information that (quite intentionally and driven by algorithms) made their blood boil.  And they spent time creating angry, depressing stories of their own.  It became the adult equivalent of hours wasted on X-Box or Play-Station.  Except less enjoyable.  And it was really hard to level up.

At first it was a wonderful way for important news to travel fast.  Then it became a place for bad ideas and bad commentary, attacks and vitriol to move at the speed of light, the speed of human cruelty and dishonesty.  (And don’t dare try to make this partisan; everybody got to share in the deception.)

It became a place where smart people still go in the earnest belief that they can change anyone’s mind about anything.  I know them. They spend far too much time trying to craft clever Tweets to have ‘gotcha’ moments against their political, professional or ideological foes.

In my realization of its toxicity, I came across this bit of information.  https://www.pewresearch.org/internet/2019/04/24/sizing-up-twitter-users/

Interesting points from the article.  About 22% of American adults use Twitter.  10% of the users create about 80% of the content.  You can read through the rest yourself.  That is to say, if you use it in the belief that it what you find is a very accurate representation of the US, well that’s probably not true.  And again, if you use it thinking you’ll change anybody’s mind, that’s probably untrue as well.

So in summary, here’s my last post.  Goodbye Twitter!  It wasn’t you.  It was me. I got some perspective.

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