Love it or hate it, Twitter is everywhere. Hashtags appear in the corner of the television during just about every network show, and blue bird icons adorn stories on websites big and small. You can even watch some NFL games right from Twitter. There’s access to all of the information you’d ever need on the platform, which explains why over 300 million users hop on to see what’s happening in the world. By giving anyone and everyone a place to speak their mind, Twitter does a lot of good for society. But if we take a step back from the sunny Silicon Valley hype, you’ll see that Twitter isn’t all good, nor does it offer a positive experience for everyone. Here are some of the many reasons you might want to stop using Twitter for good.
1. It’s a major time suck
If you’re an avid Twitter user, you probably know how easy it is to accrue a large and unwieldy list of people you follow. Once you’re keyed into the daily musings of several hundred people (not to mention organizations), your feed turns into a hurricane of tweets that can be hard to keep up with.
Even if you don’t read every tweet in your feed, you can still get sucked into the Twitterverse for hours on end. It’s like a book that’s being written in real time by millions of people. There’s no end to the words, opinions, links, and images people post on Twitter. If you don’t want to get sucked into all that, the best thing you can do is to give it up entirely.
2. Too many vile people are using it
Twitter is notorious for having hordes of hostile users who are ready and willing to attack anyone with opinions that differ from their own. Stories of user harassment are frequent and widespread, often revolving around groups of anonymous users attacking women and minorities.
3. It’s hard to get followers
Unless you’re a celebrity or you have a public-facing job, it’s not easy to accrue a large number of followers. And when your follower count never goes up, it can feel like you’re sending your tweets into an empty void with no one around to read them. Unless you have friends who are active users, Twitter can start to seem like a lonely place.
4. Your tweets can be used against you
Whether you’re looking for a job or running for office, anything you post on Twitter can come back to haunt you. People have lost their jobs because of things they’ve tweeted. Regular people have become instant celebrities because of the service, and not usually in a good way. Twitter offers a public venue for your opinions, but that’s not always a good thing.
5. The information you receive may be wrong
While Twitter can be a useful tool during major events, there’s no one around to check the facts to make sure everything posted is accurate. Misinformation can and often does spread fast on Twitter. If you want to know what’s really happening during a major event, your best bet is to wait until a real journalist reports on it.
6. It can make you anxious or depressed
Numerous studies have shown that social networks can have negative effects on our mental health, Twitter very much included. While some people do find help and support through Twitter, the service is just as likely to drag you down. Whether it’s from comparing your life to those of your friends or from your fear of missing out, looking at Twitter can induce anxiety and depression in some people.
7. No room for nuance
Twitter is famous for its 140 character limit in tweets. That’s fine if you think brevity is the soul of wit, but if you’re trying to make a nuanced argument on Twitter, you can forget about it. There’s just not enough space in 140 characters to get across an idea of even moderate complexity. That can often lead to people misinterpreting what you were trying to say.