How I left Twitter

How I Quit Twitter by Adopting Minimalism

A couple of years ago, we decided to have a gathering in our house and we invited some new friends. My friend joked and asked me within the first five minutes of us being together in my house, “Where’s all your stuff?” While I was explaining that I truly don’t like clutter, we had a good chuckle, and John and I looked at each other briefly while I spoke. (John is a hoarder, and in the course of my cleaning out efforts, I’ve gotten rid of more than one trunk full of his useless belongings. (This explains the look.)

For some time now, I’ve been considering adopting a more minimalist way of living. I crave the simplicity, contentment, and freedom that comes with living happily with less possessions. I also enjoy the clean and uncluttered home environment that comes with living a minimalist life. As a result, I have been reading the blogs and pinning the pins, as well as taking a look around my house and at my life, to see how I might possibly make this concept work in my own little world.

Why the Minimalist Lifestyle Appeals to Me

I recently read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo and came away with a lot of great ideas. One of the things Marie Kondo suggests in her book is to ask yourself why you want to “tidy.” And when you answer that, ask yourself why again and again until you have a clear image of what your life could be like after embracing a minimalist lifestyle. She thinks that the ultimate answer is happiness, which I suppose is correct. I believe it goes deeper than that.

After journaling my own thoughts and responses to the question “why? I realized that, for me, it’s more about peace, freedom, and contentment and I have so much more peace of mind when stuff isn’t cluttering up my world. I feel free to open my doors to others when I’m not embarrassed by a mess. And living simply breeds contentment. A minimalist lifestyle is a simpler lifestyle. You don’t have to worry about keeping up with the Joneses or impressing anyone.

You can focus on what’s important to you and what brings you joy. When you live minimally, you naturally focus on what’s important to you. You don’t have time or energy for things that don’t matter. And as a result, you end up living a more fulfilling and purposeful life. What I’ve also learned, though, is that living simply isn’t confined to material things and/or my home. A minimalist lifestyle applies to other areas of life, too.

Social Media

After seeing a Ted Talk by Dr. Cal Newport titled “Quit Social Media”, I was struck by a sense of yearning that was all too familiar in my heart. His hypothesis is that using social media can be addictive and a pointless and time-consuming way to pass the time. I have undeniably witnessed this phenomenon play out in my own life, specifically in the form of spending more time than I had anticipated idly scrolling through my various social media accounts. However, there’s one platform in particular that’s been a burden to me. Twitter.

The other night, I was catching up with my good friend and fellow blogger, Kara, while we were chatting on the phone. We came up with a variety of concepts and discussed our aspirations and ambitions for the future. When we were wrapping up the portion of our brain storming session devoted to social media, I turned to Kara and stated, “Facebook is where my community actually is.” On Instagram, I mainly just upload a lot of pictures of my kids, and as for Twitter, I’m still trying to get the hang of it. I still don’t get it!” Kara laughed and agreed on the twitter front and we moved on. But I couldn’t get that part of the conversation out of my mind.

I’ve been on twitter for almost 3 years and I still don’t get it? Something isn’t working. Not only that, but it’s largely been a burden. In The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, Marie Kondo’s method includes physically touching every item in your home to see if it “sparks joy” in you. If not, it gets discarded. It occurred to me that I could apply this method to social media and see what happened.

How Minimalism Led Me to Quit Twitter

I go to Instagram, logged in, checked my alerts, and then spent five minutes scrolling through my feed. Indeed, this is something that makes one happy and satisfied with life. My creative friends are a source of motivation for me, and since I usually follow other moms posts, I get a kick out of seeing images of their adorable children. And it’s a lot of fun for me to keep a record of the amusing things that my tiny family does as well.

I got into Facebook and navigated to the public version of my page, which was titled bliss. Someone mentioned that they were able to get through a difficult time thanks to a certain post. Another viewer mentioned in the comments section of one of my videos that it made her feel better. That is the reason I write. I’m not one to give instructions… I’m a me too gal. Facebook is where I have the most interactions with people who can raise their hands and say, “Yes! Me too!” and it’s one of my favorite places to spend time online. Then I logged onto twitter…

UGH.

Instead of joy I found a stream of angry rants, passive aggressive arguments, and a continual back and forth. I suppose I’m not following the right people, but then again maybe that’s what twitter has become? This week brought another “blow up” within our community and my shoulders tensed as I felt weight bearing down on me. Nope. Twitter isn’t fun and it isn’t giving me peace, freedom, and contentment: it’s making me want to quit everything.

As a result, I simply stopped using Twitter. Anyway, I was never quite able to figure out where my place was there, and it suddenly occurred to me that possibly the reason for that is because I don’t have one. And that’s perfectly fine! There are some things that are not for us. Some of us thrive in a twitter environment and some of us don’t. I have a limited number of minutes in my day and its time I stop wasting any of them on something that is just one massive bummer for me.

I have left my profile up, which includes a link to both my website and my book, so that if any of the publications that I write for choose to tweet about me, readers will be able to locate either my website or my book. However, in order to maintain a clean feed, I have unfollowed everyone and logged out of my account. Because (in my opinion) Twitter was just clutter, my head already seems much clearer, my load much lighter, and my day more freer. Just one more stage left on my path toward becoming a minimalist.

Is there something weighing you down and cluttering your mind? Is it time to pull an Elsa and let it go? (I know, I’m sorry. I had to.)

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