我为什么(基本上)告别了推特– Kyle

原文出处 Why I (mostly) dropped off twitter – Kyle – Medium

精简版

从我告别我的twitter账户@getify至今已经有六个月了。我持续收到关于为什么我要这么做的问题,有些人哀叹我的退出,所以我想我会解释为什么我离开。

这样做,我会从一些上瘾的人的角度对twitter(和其他社交媒体)发表一些看法——我过去每天平均每天超过100条信息!然后现在慢慢地,痛苦地戒掉了这个瘾。 这些意见并不是为了评判别人对这些平台的使用,但我希望这些想法可能会引起一些人反思自己如何做以及为什么这么做。


Twitter和其他类似的社交媒体平台是社会的一面镜子,这并不奇怪。 它们反映并放大的不仅仅是我们的善,也有恶。 不幸的是,相对于前者带来的帮助和力量,后者更加有害更能引起污染。 这不是自助餐,可以任您挑选; 无论您喜欢还是不喜欢,你都会受到两种的影响。

有件事我已经意识到,直到最近才能表达出来,就是:一个主题和你联系越少,你越不知情,你就越可能受到激励去发表自己的观点。——成负相关。毕竟,比起那些已经处于中心位置的人,你损失的很少,得到了很多

那些了解谈话内容的人,当他们在公开场合讨论这些话题时,实际上是在请求那些不了解内容的人进来,并成为平等的参与者。这种“病毒倍增效应”意味着知情人的声音常常很快被淹没,而那些投入最大、最核心的人最终会精疲力竭地在公众面前停止讨论这个话题。只剩下那些无名之辈们,继续汲取灰尘和残留废料中的养分。

如果你曾经在推特上发表过一些聪明的想法,然后花了超过50多条信息,绝望地,向那些误解的人进行辩护和澄清,你就会明白我的意思了。我超过7年的Twitter经验基本上就是这样,一遍又一遍重复。

你要说的越多,你说的越多,读下去的人就越少。

此外,总之这些暴徒式的讨论迅速、简练的、刻薄的、具有煽动性的,而不是慢,细心,体贴和善解人意的对话。这显然使话语通常分为两个截然不同的阵营。站在任何一方的角度,任何人的发言只要不是显然在你同意的范围内那么他看上去就像“另一边”的,而这只会加剧两极分化。

如果你试着参与“中间”派,并作出缓和/妥协/富有成效的评论,这是个很好的机会,让任何一方都不欣赏或接受你。除了极少数例外,你不适用

以我的经验,结果往往是“如果你不与我们,滚一边去。”我很少发现自己认为任何一个话题的极端值得讨论,所以那讯息响亮而清晰。

所以我不能进行富有成效的、理由充分的讨论,或者依赖其他人做同样的事情。我不能对任何话题分享微妙适度的的观点,因为唯一关心的人是那些已经两极分化的人。

那就是第一个问题的答案,为什么我滚出了推特。

更长的版本

从某种意义上说,事实上,我不得不以精简版开头来概括我的思想——换句话说,省略了有价值的背景,因为人们对于在网上阅读表现的不耐烦,期待一个TL; DR- is the problem。如果你还在读,我希望是因为你真的想知道我上面的意思。但老实说 - 大多数读者没有停留在这么远。

一些人通过划分自己,有效地浏览社交媒体。我听很多人说,“嗯,我只是在推特上谈论科技”,他们声称能够忽视政治、宗教和其他任何可能引起争议的社会经验。

如果你是那样的话,我为你鼓掌。我要以一种不是侮辱的方式指出,这是反社会的行为。尽管如此,我还是要为你鼓掌。我希望我也能那样做,我真心希望。我希望我能只讨论JavaScript,而不需要对其他主题持有/分享想法。

我运营 @getify 作为整个我的一个帐户,因为这是我知道的唯一方式。是的,绝大多数的时间,是在谈论技术 - JavaScript,但通常 - 我不羞于分享自己在政治,宗教,文化,等等方面的思想。

偶尔,有人会在我在咆哮时发信息给我说,“因为__取关”或“我希望你只是坚持JS”。我总是对这些强加在我的意识流上的额外条款很不爽。我的帐户是我的,所以你得到你得到的。如果你不喜欢它,一点都不伤害我的感情,所以你欢迎取消关注。事实上,我不知道为什么我的3万追随者还关注着我。

我一直没有意识到的是,在某种程度上,我的公众形象不再仅仅是作为一个个体的我,成为一种基础、平台、身份和品牌。总之,我已经变得越来越声名狼藉了,在JS世界里是一个很小的“名人”。很小,我要重申。我甚至没有我自己的维基百科网页。

我并没有打算这么做,我甚至没有花太多时间去考虑它。尽管如此,但这是事实。我应该反省自己,比以前花更多时间去思考它。

如果我这么做了,我会早点意识到这意味着我的“观众”对我有一种不同的期望。随着“声音”的放大,关于我可以利用这个平台做些什么通常伴随着一套规范和限制。我早就应该意识到,我会更容易“冒犯”别人,并成为一个被从台子上拿下来的目标。这就是我们整个社会都在做的事情:树立偶像,并将他们摧毁。这并不奇怪。我基本上是通过公开发表自己的观点来实现的。

所以,回到一月我儿子的生日的时候,当我开始分享一些想法关于美国医疗保健的巨大的炎症话题时,我得罪了我的观众群。这是他们被冒犯的权利,因为我在这一点上脱离了品牌,作为一个人说话,而不是一个JS名人。

问题是,真正地深深地伤害了我的是我完全被误解了。绝大多数的回答认为我说的是一件事,但当时我实际上是相反的意思。特别是,它不只是在互联网上和我没有联系的人。那些消极的反应伤害最多的正是我真正的朋友,不只是在网上,也包括爱尔兰。他们是最了解我的人,应该知道我说的不是他们读到的思意。我有,或者我认为我有,一个既定的记录,它能解释我真正的想法,但它没有。

我真的,真的,真的受伤了。我愤怒地离开了推特,“关闭”我的“毫无意义的浪费时间”的帐户。它终于夭折了。我究竟为什么要做这些,当人们应该更好地理解的时候一点都不起作用?

我打算离开推特一个月,让自己冷静下来。男孩,接下来的几天出现了戒断反应。

我每小时检查推特十四次。我在与把我读到的所有东西都说出来的想法做斗争,并且不得不不断提醒自己我已经“离开”了。渐渐地,我的检查订阅的次数越来越少了。

Then a few weeks later, I went in and purged my following list, cutting out about 75% of them. If I was going to read any twitter at all, I needed a feed that was vastly more narrow. I needed to cut out all the voices, even from people that I like, that had things to say which compelled me to try to speak up.接下来的几周,我精简了我的订阅清单,减少了大约75%的内容。过去 如果我需要阅读推特,我会订阅大量内容。我需要削减这些声音,甚至是我喜欢的人。因为它们迫使我去发表一些言论。

I used to advocate that you should follow a lot of diverse voices, especially those you disagree with, so you avoid creating an echo chamber. And here I was, basically betraying all that advice and narrowing my feed to a pure echo chamber. I only wanted to read from people I wasn’t likely to find any issues with.我过去提倡你应该订阅一些相反的声音 特别是那些你不同意的,从而避免一种回音室效应。而现在 我背叛了这条建议,缩减我的订阅变成一个纯粹的回音室。我只想阅读那些我找不到错误的人的推特。

I muted people who shared thoughts that angered me. I blocked people who had ever disagreed with me in even the most mildly disrespectful way.我将那些分享激怒我的观点的人禁言。我屏蔽了那些曾经不同意我观点的人,虽然有的只是轻微的不敬。

But it didn’t work. I kept finding more and more stuff in my feed that urged me to speak up. It was a constant battle to read twitter but not chime in. It seemed like every time I read twitter, within 60 seconds I found some self-important asshole’ish conversation that I wanted to tear into and then tear my own hair out.但是这不起作用。我在订阅中找到越来越多的人促使我想发表言论。阅读推特而不去插话,这是场持续的斗争。好像每次我阅读推特总能在60秒内找到一个以自我为中心的混蛋的对话想让我进去撕逼。

Months went by, and I got myself down to only checking twitter once or twice a day. By that point, I feel like I’ve broken my addiction to twitter. But it took me coming to terms with exactly what I was addicted to, and why.几个月过去了,我现在每天检查推特一到两次。某种意义上说,我已经戒了对推特的瘾。但是这让我开始思考我到底是对什么上瘾,为什么?

I realized that what I was addicted to was inflating my own ego, tiny bits at a time, by feeding the idea that my opinions — on anything — were informed, intelligent, reasoned, and useful, and that any conversation that I read could benefit from me poking my head in.

I mean, that’s what twitter is all about, when you think about it. Right? It’s about seeing something that others are discussing, and inflating that discussion with your own two cents.

Why am I so strongly compelled to do so? Because my ego needs it. I need to be important. I need to be respected. I need to be appreciated. I need to be admired.

Twitter feeds that ego like a drug addict is fed by a dealer.

It took a long, long time before I could admit this. And it took me leaving so I could see it more from the outside. It took me looking at the “mirror” of my social media persona and realizing that I had built this, brick by brick, tweet by tweet. I did this. All of it. I created the momentum of a habit that would continually draw upon the worst parts of my own nature. The more I came to terms with that, the more I was disgusted with myself.


About 20 years ago, I was having some health problems that I suspected might be related to my really high daily intake of caffeine. Like, drinking 8–10 cokes per day, high. So I decided to take a month off caffeine, cold turkey, to reset my system. That month was the worst most miserable month of my life to that point.

I had all kinds of physical withdrawl symptoms kick in. I mean, sweats, nausea, digestive unrest, headaches, etc. The whole thing. I’ve never actually been addicted to controlled substance drugs like cocaine, but I imagine that in my little slice of the world, I was experiencing a hardcore physical pushback from my lack of caffeine.

It didn’t take long for me to realize, horrified, that if I was actually that addicted to caffeine, I’d need to never have it again. There was no safe level. There was no moderation. Just like there’s no safe level of cocaine.

20 years later, and I’m still 100% caffeine free. No coffee, no tea, no caffeine drinks, nothing. I guess I get small amounts in the occasional chocolate or whatever. But I don’t consume any concentrated amounts of caffeine at all. And I’m much healthier as a result.


6 months may be too early to tell, but I believing for now that in the same way that I needed to drop caffeine, I also needed to drop my addiction to ego inflation through twitter.

A lot of people that know me IRL tell me that I’ve been a lot more calm and even tempered since leaving twitter. I hope that’s true. I still have a long way to go to unwind my negativity and ego-inflation habits. But I’m encouraged that I’m at least headed in a better direction.

I use LinkedIn now, and to a lesser extent, Google+. LinkedIn works for me for now because I only post once a week or so, and even then, usually only on something business/tech related, since that’s the expected norm for this platform.

I rarely comment on others’ discussions, and certainly in no ways do I do so if it’s something inflammatory or controversial.

I self censor. I still regularly have thoughts and ideas that I would like to ego-inflate by sharing with the world — you know, THOUGHT LEADERING! But I keep them to myself, usually.

I’m drinking caffeine-free drinks like sprite or lemonade. They’re not nearly as addictive. I still have to keep them in check, but it’s a lot easier to do so.


But the effects of dropping twitter have not been all positive.

I’m sad, and lonely. I feel deeply disconnected from a community that I think I helped to build. I feel saddened because I want to be able to have the good parts of twitter without being taken down by the bad parts. I feel like I’m less mature and less capable of that kind of responsible usage than I’d like to be. I’m jealous of others for being able to do so, apparently effectively.

My OSS life, which used to be a huge part of who I was, is now a hollow shell. I have built a couple of libraries since leaving twitter, but almost no one has heard of them, because I have no platform to publicize myself. I mean, I occassionally post on LinkedIn and Google+. But together, those aren’t even a drop in the bucket compared to what I did on twitter.

My motivation to finish my book writing, or work on my OSS projects, is at an all time low. I don’t care anymore. Why work on all that, if I can’t keep calling attention to what I’m doing by tweeting about it? I recently built (OSS’d on github, of course) a library that I think could be a really important part of the ecosystem, and it’s basically irrelevant. All the docs and tests I wrote, they mean nothing because the project has like 10 stars. No one will ever hear of it or use it. And I won’t likely ever do any more to add to it.

And I’m also deeply saddened at a noticeable downturn in my business. I built my work in large part on the platform of @getify. I relied on being able to offer a public workshop, tweet about it a few times, and virtually always sell out tickets. Now? I’ve had a string of utter failures in public workshops, with ticket sales being so low that I’m having to cancel or — worse — run them at a net loss.

I also struggle to drum up new corporate training work. I got a lot of those leads in the past from my regular public community presence, and as I’ve retreated from that community, fewer of those leads are coming in. I’m having to dig for and find work, and it’s getting harder and harder. I don’t know if the pipeline will keep working, or if I’ll have to eventually change my work entirely.

On the whole, is it better that I give up on twitter and lose all these other parts of my career/endeavors, but I regain my own sanity and peace of mind?

I don’t know yet. But since I don’t know, the worst thing I could do would be to keep feeding those worst parts of me haplessly. Unless I ever figure out some way to balance these pros and cons more effectively, I feel like I’m better off staying on the sidelines.

Until then, I hope you’ll come connect with me on LinkedIn.

And whatever you do, be good to others online. They’re more than just the pixels on your screen. On the other side of that pixel is a real human being, with all manner of hopes and flaws. Remember that the next time you feel the urge to tear into them after reading a tweet you don’t agree with.