Twitter’s lack of context keeps me away

(written by lawrence krubner, however indented passages are often quotes). You can contact lawrence at: lawrence@krubner.com

The lack of context is exactly what keeps me away from Twitter. I want more context, not less.

Last week I had coffee with Hunter Walk who said he deleted his Twitter data and now auto-deletes Tweets regularly, so it becomes a transient outlet instead of permanent. As an experiment I downloaded my entire archive and randomly started poking through it. Without context, without the situation at hand, I wanted to punch the avatar of myself that came across in tweets from the past.

Outrage, commentary, snippy rebuttals, etc. Remnants of opinions past, jobs past, products past and situations that I can’t even remember. There wasn’t anything rooting my 140 character maximum missives within a larger context. They were just these fragments of nothing without any situational awareness in and of themselves.

So I deleted them. All of them, and set the service I used to do this to delete all my tweets past the latest 20.

Now I’m tepidly back on Twitter, but I found the joy it once provided, the sense of community it engendered with people far and wide through the world has gone. I used to have it as a sounding board, but now I have this blog, Facebook and Instagram. I found that the sipping on the feed beats outright consumption, but without full consumption, there is no context. It’s a subway train in the night that sometimes I just don’t want to get on, so I don’t. It’s not always on fire, but more often than not is, so the window gets closed and I find something else to do.

Without repartee, permanence or context, its become something I’ll check, sometimes shout into and leave.

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