One year without Twitter

I am grateful I have not spent the last dreadful year on Twitter.


On January 22, 2020, I decided to take a brief hiatus from Twitter. I made this decision shortly before the New York Times published my op-ed on impeachment. (Remember the impeachment?!). I did not know how long my self-imposed exile would last, or whether I would have the discipline to stick with it.

One year later, I am proud to be Twitter free. I still post links to my posts. I will click on a link to a tweet a friend sent me. And I occasionally use the direct messaging feature. But I never scroll through the timeline. I never check my notifications. If you've @'d me over the past year, I haven't seen it. If you've screen-shotted my work to subtweet me, I have no clue. I suspect the fact that I do not respond emboldens some people to @ me with righteous indignation. More power to them.

In hindsight, I quit Twitter at just the right time. I missed the Senate impeachment trial. I missed the pandemic. I missed Blue June. I missed the racial justice marches over the summer. I missed the election. I missed the election litigation. I missed January 6, 2021.

Yet, I was able to stay remarkably well informed. And, I would say, much happier and saner. Plus I have more time. I suspect I save hours every week–time much better spent elsewhere.

You should try it. Stop checking your timeline. Stop checking your notifications. The world will continue. And you can avoid the awful cesspool.

NEXT: The Death Throes of the Republican Party

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  1. These platforms should be seized in civil forfeiture for the billions of crimes there. They commit millions of crimes themselves by overstating their viewerships to defraud advertisers. Half their viewers are bots.

    Then auction them off like the Ferrari of a drug dealer.

  2. “One year later, I am proud to be Twitter free. I still post links to my posts. I will click on a link to a tweet a friend sent me. And I occasionally use the direct messaging feature.”

    Someone get this hapless clinger an editor.

  3. The internet has gotten more and more toxic through Trump’s term. On the parts of the net I see, that is largely driven by the left’s hatred for Trump. (I never read r/The_Donald and very rarely Breitbart; no doubt the left has plenty of company there.) Unfortunately Silicon Valley is more concerned about protecting their favorite snowflakes from bad words than making a nice place. And before or after that, getting more eyeballs on the app. I remember reading an editorial suggesting that the retweet feature was the downfall of Twitter because it allowed such amplification of hatred. But just look at the metrics. If you measure, it’s a success.

  4. “And you can avoid the awful cesspool.”
    — the awful cesspool

    1. And yet you keep coming back for more. Again and again.

      If someone takes a hike, mistakenly blunders into a swamp and almost drowns, I will sympathize.
      If he comes back again to the same place and almost drowns, I will have no sympathy.
      If he comes back 100 times, then I consider him a fool.

      1. This is the only account they let him see in the asylum.

  5. On behalf of the readers of the Volokh Conspiracy, I’d say that you’re probably better off moving half of your VC posts to Twitter. That way you’d probably spend less time on VC and Twitter combined, time you can spend, euh, not writing things that you’re expecting other people to read.

    1. On behalf of clever people everywhere, I inform you that you have the choice to not comment on posts which waste your time, to even skip posts which look likely to waste your time, to skip all posts by authors you don’t like, and even skip blogs you don’t like.

      1. Why do you think that you can speak on behalf of clever people?

  6. I never went to Twatter and got rid of my Farcebook account long ago.

    1. Thanks for sharing.

  7. “One year later, I am proud to be Twitter free. I still post links to my posts. I will click on a link to a tweet a friend sent me. And I occasionally use the direct messaging feature.”

    So Twitter free means you have an account, you post to that account and use the features of the application your account provides? Is that kinda like free education, free healthcare, and free housing paid for with taxes?

  8. Twitter is hilarious. Many monkeys flinging poo of course but a great time waster.

    IMHO, best to just access via a browser though like I do and not get an actual account. That way no temptation to post and you avoid the problems of too many “notifications” and other things that people complain about. Se twitter but not be on it.

    Just google or bing “name of person and twitter” and you can see their account. I look at about a dozen accounts a day [mainly righties but a couple of lefties] and since there are links to other accounts I can read other things of interest.

  9. Still feeling good about that execrable op-ed?

  10. ‘Without’ may become a new and calmer life style without seeing clickbait or culturist images. The conspiracy of ignorance masquerades as common sense.

    We are nearly two decades ‘TV’ free – without a television receiver.

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