Three Months without Twitter

I still don't miss it

|The Volokh Conspiracy |

In late January I (mostly) quit Twitter. For the past three months, I have used Twitter in three limited fashions. First, I still use the messenger. I find it a fairly and effective way to communicate with people I want to hear from. It is less formal than text messaging, and facilitates group chats with ease. Second, I post my new material to Twitter. This forum helps me reach a lot of readers, very quickly. Third, if there is some breaking news story, I will search for specific information. For example, I used Twitter to quickly find President Trump's comments about the adjournment power.

But I do not check my notifications. Ever. Not once. If you mentioned me, I have no clue. Please email me. My sanity is much better for it. Twitter exchanges are inevitably Wobegonian. Everyone thinks they are smarter and wittier than everyone else. They're not. (Similar rules apply to law professor list serves).

Second, I do not check my timeline. Ever. I think I've saved about an hour or two a day by avoiding the aimless scroll. I imagine that timesuck would be greater during our nationwide quarantine.

I encourage others to break the habit, and stop chasing the bluebird. You will be much better for it.

NEXT: Today in Supreme Court History: April 17, 1978

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. 1. Quit Twitter. 2. Quit Facebook. 3. Be much happier, and better informed. It’s that simple. Unfortunately, most people can’t, or won’t, do 2. And if you are one of the people who say, “But my facebook feed is balanced, and I don’t pay attention to it, and blah blah blah ….” ….well, you can’t cure stupid, can you?

    1. Properly curated, twitter is a great source of comedy.

    2. I use Facebook to stay in touch with family and to keep track of my rural neighborhood, and it takes about 5-10 minutes day, sporadically. I avoid the time suck mainly because I only use it on the phone and the little screen is a terrible way to watch videos or see photos with any detail.

      1. “But I’m only on it for 5-10 minutes a day, so it can’t be bad, right?” Whatever you need to tell yourself. Yes, you are the person that uses it correctly and are not affected … everyone else uses it wrong. I mean, how else could you possibly stay in touch with people and keep track of things without it?!?!?! The lies we tell ourselves.

        1. Keerist buddy, you need to get a hobby. I did not write what you faux-quote. I did not claim there even is a correct usage, let alone that I know it and nobody else does. Your comment isn’t even a good troll. It just sounds like you sleep too much and wake up grumpy.

          1. Naw. Sometimes you just need to be brutally honest to break through the BS. Look, whatever I say isn’t going to stop you. You and 12″ and the rest can keep saying to yourself that you’re not influenced, you’re not political, you’re only on it to look at your darling grandkids ………… and you’re lying to yourselves. That’s fine! We all do dumb and stupid things that really hurt us- after all, there a reason there are heroin addicts, Trump supporters, and Cleveland Browns fans. You be you!

            1. Trump supporters? So where do the little (d)s play? TikTok? Instagram? MySpace?

      2. “I use Facebook to stay in touch with family and to keep track of my rural neighborhood,” Yeah, I don’t have a problem getting sucked into politics on Facebook. I use it mostly to keep in touch with family, and friends and acquaintances that I would have lost track of.

    3. Yeah, imagine what losers like Randy Barnett, Orin Kerr and Larry Tribe could accomplish without the Twitter monkey on their backs.

    4. 1. Quit Twitter. 2. Quit Facebook. 3. Be much happier, and better informed. It’s that simple.

      Whatever works for you, but that is not my experience.

      The person with the long annoying name is correct: Facebook is a good way to stay in touch with family and friends, especially if you have children, and to keep up with local information.

      Twitter, well, there are actual intelligent people on there. Just follow them, ignore the stupid awful people, and don’t believe anything you read on there unless it’s a link to a real publication.

  2. “Everyone thinks they are smarter and wittier than everyone else. They’re not. (Similar rules apply to law professor list serves).” What about partisan law professor blogs?

    1. And faux preachers online?

      1. Which is worse (or better): Faux preachers or faux libertarians?

        1. “faux libertarians” With rare exceptions (like Ilya Somin and Sasha Volokh) …. isn’t “Libertarian” usually just a craven way of saying, “I vote for the GOP, but I don’t want to sound like the ass that I am?”

          1. “the ass that I am”

            Remind me which part actually has an ass as its symbol?

            1. Aw…. you must think you’re clever! Did you hurt yourself stretching all the way to pat yourself on the back?

              1. “Aw…. you must think you’re clever!”

                Yeah, that my opponents are all asses comment was a real zinger, Loki. So, so owned.

                1. “ Yeah, that my opponents are all asses comment was a real zinger, Loki. So, so owned.”

                  That wasn’t a”zinger.”

                  I mean, when 12” pianist is your idea of humor, I suppose it beats your classic collection of Dane Cook albums.

              2. “you must think you’re clever”

                Compared to whom?

                1. It’s almost like you closed your mouth for a second. But that would deprive your brain of needed oxygen.

                  1. Your lips are moving, but all I hear is this:

                    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-OmvSN0_h10

  3. I have no Twitter account. Nor Instagram. Nor Facebook (except a never-used account my daughter created for me years ago, if it still exists). Nor Snapchat. Nor anything similar. I do not fault people who do.

    1. I’ve always wondered who that long-dormant Ren McCormack stan account belongs to.

    2. The Rev saves all of his online virtue signaling and other bigoted junk for this comment section. We should feel special he gives us so much attention.

      1. It’s partly why we know that he is such a fake.

  4. 735 months without Twitter. Tough, but I’m aiming for a thousand.

    1. Why not 1200?

      1. Trying to be realistic, I don’t think gerontology is going to get THAT good fast enough for me.

  5. This inspires me to “quit” cocaine. I’ll only snort it if I’m at a party, or need to recover from the latest news. Other than that – cold turkey!

    /sarc

  6. Paging Sarcastro. I wonder if Prof. Blackman is going to post every month on Twitter that he doesn’t use Twitter, and discuss on Twitter all the benefits of not using Twitter.
    I once read about a guy who got caught by his wife or employer (don’t recall which) racking up charges at stripe clubs, and his excuse was he frequented them to talk the girls out of stripping but didn’t watch. I think there’s a better chance that the Professor is not checking his Twitter timeline than there is that the guy didn’t indulge the sins of flesh and mind, but I’m
    not sure the odds are *much* greater.

  7. “less formal than text messaging,”

    An incredible phrase.

    1. Another case where we agree completely.

      Does that make twice so far this year?

  8. Twitter was a useful resource back in the day before the Stasi took over censorship (err…”content control”). Now it is the literal definition of an “echo chamber”. If you want to read 1000 different people with the same take on the latest virtue signaling cause of the day, by all means hop on to the platform. Otherwise it is the literal definition of “waste of time”.

    1. So you don’t read it, because it’s a waste of time, but you know what’s on it anyway.

      1. Also — doesn’t like echo chambers, but is a Volokh Conspiracy regular.

        1. Who are you echoing?

      2. Back in the day I would use to follow some people on Twitter, rarely posted, but it was a useful “news feed” of sorts. Closed the account years ago when the Commissars took over.

    2. ‘Now it is the literal definition of an “echo chamber”.’

      Somebody should tell Kurt Schlichter’s quarter-million Twitter followers, Mike Cernovich’s half-million, James Woods’ two million, and Sean Hannity’s five million Twitter followers. Somebody really ought to let all those nice people know — oh, and don’t forget Donald Trump’s 77 million Twitter followers — that they’re imprisoned in the literal definition of an echo chamber.

      1. That is some expert level reasoning there. “Look at all these people! No way an echo chamber could have that many followers!”

        The way the world is working today it would be easy to say about 50% of society exists in an echo chamber. Just because a forum has lots of users doesn’t mean that it isn’t just a really, really big echo chamber.

        1. Serves me right for thinking I could get a coherent response.

  9. Hasn’t Blackman just replaced Twitter with this blog, which he uses as his personal diary? I’m not sure the two are all that different.

    1. +1.

      I mean, coronavirus spared us from more travelogue, at least.

      1. Not to mention advice on airplane seats.

    2. Of course this is different. Have you noticed his posts are a lot longer than 144 characters?

      All joking aside, that IS a pretty important difference, as is the fact that it’s not being censored by people hostile to his views.

      1. Right, Brett. It’s a conspiracy. No doubt about it.

        1. You don’t need a conspiracy where the people in power agree with each other.

      2. The Volokh Conspiracy is censored by people sympathetic to his views. Is that better, in your judgment?

  10. The social justice networks in general, and Twitter may be culpable for the dumb mass hysteria pandemic pandemonium we now suffer.

    Thanks for *Woebegonian*. Because of your mention I learned of the Lake Woebegon Trails, and we are ‘bicycling’ Seniors.

  11. Thank you so much for your invaluable information, that is impressive. The points you have mentioned are commendable.
    Also check: https://formattarepc.info/

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.