Social network fatigue – n. The ennui induced by persistent solicitations to join new social networks. It is especially acute in those who are already members of more MySpaces than they can remember. (from the Wired Jargon Watch)
I have gotten at least a dozen people asking me (via e-mail, SMS or in person) questions about why I am not on Twitter any more. Last week one person was very concerned because not only was I not on Twitter, but the Thirsty Developer Podcast website that I co-manage with Dave Bost was down (we had a problem with a configuration change that was made by the ISP this past Monday). So I wanted to let everyone know that everything is okay, I left Twitter and Facebook by choice in early December. I left both of these very popular social network sites, because I was very distracted by using them and quite frankly I was feeling a lot of fatigue in keeping up with them.
Addicted or distracted?
I hear a lot of people say that they are “addicted to Twitter” and I did a quick search and found that thousands upon thousands of people have written that very phrase on blogs, articles and on twitter itself. I don’t think I was addicted to twitter (or any social network), but I did find it distracting me from things that I feel are more important. I had over 300 followers and I was following over 300 people at my peak on twitter (I followed the karmic rule that if a real person followed me, I would follow them back). When I looked at the timeline, it was very easy to get lost in conversations flowing back and forth. I found that every time I opened a twitter client I would spend 1-15 minutes browsing the feed. This usually happened when I had much better things to do.
The final straw
In early December I got a tweet from someone who (politely) pointed out to me that I had not updated my blog in over a month (it was actually closer to 6 weeks). I really enjoy blogging and I was really disappointed in myself that I had gone that long without posting an article. So I decided to take the time that I spent on twittering and facebooking (is that a word?) and channel it into more consistent blogging.