Miha Rekar bio photo

Miha Rekar

👨‍💻 Software Developer
🎙️ Podcaster
☕️ Home Barista
🏃 Runner
📷 Photographer
📖 Aspiring Stoic
🦄 Incurably Curious

Email Instagram Twitter Github LinkedIn Speaker Deck Youtube

Today I deleted the Twitter app from my phone. Tweetbot as well. I was thinking about doing this for a while, and then I was listening to DHH on the alphalist podcast, and this really made me think:

While I’d like to be able to point back at moments in time where we did something good, I’ve come to look at the totality of it with a substantial amount of regret. If I tallied all the hours I spent arguing with strangers on Twitter over the past decade, I could have been a substantially happier person plowing that time into fucking knitting or some other endeavor that doesn’t involve shouting with strangers on a fucking platform day in and day out.

I left Facebook last year, and nothing really changed in my life other than missing some events1. I just felt better and had fewer distractions on my mind. I did it gradually: first, I deleted the app, so I couldn’t use it habitually anymore. Then I removed all my “friends” and liked pages, so the news feed became just ads. Then I had no reason to visit it anymore, and it was easy to decide to completely delete it.

Not a single day goes by that I regret this decision. If anything, I think I should have done it sooner. Now I want to apply the same strategy to Twitter.

This social network changed a lot in recent years. It used to be a fun escape to a group of like-minded individuals. We were even meeting in person from time to time. Tweetmeets were a thing.

But more and more, it’s a cesspool of people and bots pretending to be people. Everything is political. Everyone has strong opinions and is unwilling to change them. People are outraged about the tiniest things and are willing to spend hours and countless brain cells arguing about them with other strangers (and bots).

Sure, there still are happy moments, and there are many hilarious memes and videos posted there that I genuinely enjoy. I sometimes laugh so hard that I repost them to Instagram Stories just so more people can enjoy them. But is it worth it? Doing the kind of tally David did above, I’m not so sure.

And that’s why I’m going down this path. A sort of 12-step program, if you will. But for social networks:

  1. acknowledge that you have a problem (doing the tally)
  2. increase friction (delete the app)
  3. decrease value (unfollow people)
  4. realize you don’t miss it that much
  5. delete the account

I’m not saying I’m going to follow through. But I did for Facebook. And I’m a happier person with more time on my hands that I can use for other things. I have no reason to believe it’ll be different now.

I’m not saying you should do the same. Not at all. This is my blog, and this is a very personal opinion. Maybe you agree, probably not. Nothing wrong with that. Diversity of opinions makes for exciting discussions.

But think about your usage of social networks. Look into your Screen Time stats. Think about how they make you feel. And if it’s not predominantly positive, well then, maybe do something about that.

For example, I spend a lot of my time on Instagram. But I enjoy it because I use it in quite unusual way. I follow very few people, almost no brands or influencers, and frequently trim my following list. I also mute stories of people when they post many of them. Now you might say: “but you post a lot of stories yourself.” And yes, you’re right. I’d probably mute myself if I were to follow me. 😂

I post stories of everything interesting that’s happening throughout my day. But those are things that I find interesting. Many other people likely don’t. And I don’t make many posts. The ones that I do are photos that I really like and are often accompanied by lengthy, well-written2 captions.

So while my Instagram usage numbers are high, they also bring me joy, so I don’t plan to do anything about them. I can’t say the same for my Twitter usage lately.

Let me leave you with one of my favorite Seneca quotes:

It is not that we have a short time to live, but that we waste a lot of it.

  1. which really isn’t a big thing in this COVID era 😅 

  2. at least that’s what I’d like to think 😬