I have left Twitter. Actually, my account still exists but that’s just so that anyone I only know through Twitter can still get in touch. It has been good to me. I have made many friends, learnt a lot and collaborated with a number of people as a result of it. As Twitter was my only ever foray into social media, one might say I have left social media. For now at least I have not migrated elsewhere.

My reasons for leaving Twitter are similar to my reasons for not joining other platforms. Ethical reasons. I’m not suggesting I am deeply principled, even less so wholly consistent on ethical issues, but it was enough for me to move on. I have questioned my relationship with Twitter for a while and this pushed me over the edge.

The problem is, Twitter was very much part of my process. Some of you reading this will be familiar with my ‘work in progress videos’ where I would post what I was building. It was warts-and-all and helped to spur me on. I hope it was also enlightening for other makers / artists.

One other area I will miss is cycle advocacy. There’s a good crew around these parts and I’ll miss contributing in the unique way one could through 280 characters.

Since leaving, I have definitely gained some time each day…and my Twitter Voice has faded away nicely. I have been blogging in longer form again and so far I have stuck to the promise I made myself: to engage more in real life. I’ve even made it to the AGM of that cycle advocacy group I mentioned and contributed to a project of theirs.

The bit I am not yet clear on is how to document my work. I think that too is going to become more long form. That would fit nicely with where I am at in my PhD, as I start to transition from tireless experimental musical instrument builds to more formal ‘writing up’. I have also been thinking hard about what documentation I find useful and inspiring. Ideally, it’s a mixture of video and audio demos with text and images to show specifics of the build – plus links to any resources and materials. The problem is, even I have found this easier to do with some sort of ‘audience’. I guess we’ll see how it goes…

Lastly, I am trying to extract various themes covered over the years in my tweets. I am starting to log these on my research site. There are many common threads but they are impossible to consolidate (or even find) if searching a Twitter history. Maybe I can make something more useful out of the thirteen or so years I was on that platform.

As ever, do please post any comments on this. I welcome your thoughts.

Image by Ben Waddington

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