The benefits of quitting Twitter

I’m on Twitter. I post to Twitter, but not a whole lot. It’s not really my thing. And it’s partly not my thing because, like a lot of social media, it seems to put me in front of other people’s agendas and take me away from my own.

I’m not quitting Twitter (I don’t need to, as I don’t use it all that much), but another writer, Adam Brault, did just that, and he reported on the effects.

The first evening off Twitter, I felt a level of peace I hadn’t known in some time. I just hung out with Kristi, danced with the kids, and read a book to myself for a very long time. Even though I found it surprisingly easy to give it up, it truly was an addiction, to be honest: until that night, I felt obligated to check it—and often, despite whatever I was in the midst of being more important in terms of my stated priorities.

Twitter is a distraction machine. If you ever want to read something interesting, you’ll find it there. We’re awash in interesting stuff. But the real challenge? Tuning it out. Or, really, being willing to tune it out. Because if you want to do something meaningful, whether it’s be with your kids or write a book, you’ve got to tune out the incessant drumbeat of “You must read this, and this, and this.”

As Brault later writes: “I used to believe that time was the most important thing I have, but I’ve come to believe differently. The single most valuable resource I have is uninterrupted thought.”

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