I just checked and my most recent tweet was 23 days ago. It wasn't one of my usual smart-ass one-liners, that tweet had an actual purpose: I asked @joeworkman about the graphics app he was using in a screenshot he had posted.

The two tweets before that were just links to my own blog posts and the next tweet before those is again 23 days away. So over the last month or so, I've tweeted less than ten times. Which is significantly less than my overall average of three tweets a day1.

One reason for this is that I simply got bored of it. Not of the people I follow, mind you, but of Twitter's mode of communication. I've grown tired of my own (supposedly) witty comments on whatever crosses my mind at any given moment. I've grown tired of links to "interesting", "funny" and, ugh, "awesome" things. And I've come to the general realization that Twitter isn't a very good investment of my time, both personally and professionally.

No one, including myself, really gains anything lasting from using Twitter as a poor man's stand-up show. Of course you don't have to use Twitter like that, but that's what Twitter feels like to me most of the time. And the 140-character-a-tweet format is too short for saying anything truly meaningful. And even if you did say something of lasting value, it would be gone in a heartbeat in the constant stream of ephemeralia.

The other day I came across this post by Marco Arment, where he talks about his and others' blog traffic showing signs of plateauing or even declining. He attributes this to people spending more time on social media and in mobile apps and to Google adjusting its algorithms accordingly.

He concludes:

Every hour we spend on Twitter or Facebook instead of reading and writing elsewhere is just making this worse — and I’m as guilty as anyone. […] If we want it to get better, we need to start pushing back against the trend, modernizing blogs, and building what we want to come next.

So I've decided to take my posting back to where it belongs: Here on my site, on this blog. I think this will have two benefits.

For one, I'm taking back control of the things I publish. Sure, the word publishing seems a bit ambitious for posting to Twitter, but it's publishing in the true sense of the word nonetheless. Anything I put on Twitter doesn't benefit me in any lasting way. The time I spend tweeting is time I'll never get back. So there should be some kind of ROI and I think even my little blog with its abysmal traffic has a better long-term ROI than Twitter.

Secondly, I think posting here instead of on Twitter will encourage thinking more deeply about the words I put out into the world. It's so easy to just blurt out anything that crosses my mind the instant it does. The moment it's out, I'm already thinking about the next thing to say. This makes for high output of low quality.

If it's worth saying, it's worth a blog post. If it's just a random observation, thought or musing that needs to get out, I'll try and turn it into something more substantial. Or I'll just STFU.

  1. I've been on Twitter since March 2008 and I've tweeted 7.845 times since then. 

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