Scroll, click, delete

Hounsel takes giant leap in deleting her Twitter account to embrace the more important things in life

I’d hear the bird tweet and quickly unlock my phone to investigate the notification. For hours my attention would be wrapped around the ceaseless feed of either irrelevant, personal or heartsore tweets. Twitter was where I got my information; it was how I kept up with my closest pals, and it was what all of our conversations revolved around majority of the time.

On September 7, 2014, that all changed for me as I hit the ‘confirm’ button to delete my Twitter account. Was it easy? Absolutely not.

I had 30 days to decide whether I wanted to sign in and revive my social life. For the first couple of weeks I would find myself twiddling my thumbs trying to stay occupied and fighting the urge not to sign in. At school I felt out of the loop as I sat and listened to my friends talk about trending tweets or the most recent twitter fights. Constantly I would ask “What tweet?” or “Who said that?” attempting to somewhat hop on the same train.

Needless to say I was annoyed and frustrated; evermore tempted to join back. I was experiencing my personal Twitter jail.

I was so used to seeing everyone’s news. Who broke up, who woke up, who was going to bed, what song they were listening to and what was getting on their nerves. Not only was I updated with others, but I was giving the same output. Whether what was on my mind, ‘90s song lyrics, a conversation with another tweeter or a retweet of something pointless, I was letting others in on my life. Twitter became a supremacy in my life. All free time was dedicated to that little blue app.

Being so accustomed to this social lifestyle, I was oblivious to the negatives I had adopted before. Time spent with friends had become spent together on Twitter; hardly was there communication without the distracting social media site present. Subtweets or careless tweets led to unnecessary drama, debates or nasty attacks. Twitter kept me away from my studies and the actual interaction with my family. Sitting in my bedroom, scrolling through the news feed, letting the time pass by without putting the phone down became acceptable and a routine.

Looking back now, I ask why? Why did I deem that vital to my social life? Was that what it really took to survive in everyday communication with friends?

Although the temptation was heavy, I never returned to the buzzing website. Three months have gone by without my Twitter account, and I’m shocked by the outcomes I’ve experienced.

My relationships with my friends have become more genuine in the sense of true communication. Talking with them at lunch, I actually am asking more questions, personally seeing their reactions or feelings toward a subject and getting real feedback. I’ve found that conversations have become more genuine with others than they ever have been in my life. There has been an absence of misinterpretation by others of my tweets I’ve posted that has prevented the “inevitable” high school drama from arising in my life.

School is surprisingly less stressful, and I’ve spent more effort investing in time spent with family.  My attention isn’t stolen from homework. Notifications would catch my eye, and before I knew it, I had been creeping and scrolling for over 30 minutes. Now, I’m able to get through my homework quickly and distraction free.

Not having my Twitter has resulted in me facing my family issues rather than tweeting about them or ignoring them. Working to repair the relationship between my mom and me and how much I enjoy spending time with my brothers aren’t just something I tweet about anymore; they’re actual experiences now.

My social life is completely different from what it used to be. It’s kept those who are sincerely interested in my well-being or activities close through one-on-one communication.

Although there are times when a screenshot of a tweet is sent my way, I’m able to ignore it. Normally, I would’ve quickly investigated the tweet and retaliated in some manner.

The ultimate thief of my social interactions has been deactivated and more than likely won’t be back for a while.