I think it’s pretty interesting that Hugh MacLeod’s post about deleting his Twitter account is rapidly working its way up Techmeme.com. If this works the way events like this typically work, in a day or two, Hugh will be the lede in a New York Times article on Twitter burn-out. (Those familiar with the blogosophere can easily connect the dots between his post and the upcoming New York Times article. It will start with lots of blog posts saying, “I hate Twitter, also.”) I wish Hugh had not deleted his account — he could have just stopped posting to it — as the historian in me likes to see things archived, rather than wiped-clean. However, if Hugh was finding Twitter a distraction from finishing his book and his art, and he needed to pull the plug completely, I applaud him for doing so. I like Twitter and have written on this blog about how I believe it can serve many positive purposes. But yes, it can be a time-waste. That’s why I try to keep my Twittering in the background and turned off while working. I’ve found the program Twirhl, a desktop Twitter (and other services) client is helping me filter out lots of Twitter noise and have a better framework and context for the use of Twitter.
So I respect Hugh’s decision. Many media and technology people I know have said to me they “don’t get Twitter.” I understand. I’ve even written here that nobody “gets Twitter.” And that’s one of the things about it that I find so fascinating. It’s also why I’m not deleting my Twitter account.
Later: Surpassing actual news about billion dollar tech giants, Hugh’s Why I canceled my Twitter account post is now atop Techmeme. Go figure.