An amendment to the amendment

If you couldn't tell, I've spent a good part of 2019 trying to figure out what to do with Twitter. I limited my time on it, I nixed tweeting, I cut out all but Saturdays, I basically exited for two months. Then a few weeks ago, after seeing friends at AAR in San Diego whom I had "met" via Twitter, I decided to amend my tech-wise policy and dip my toe back into the service. And once the semester I ended, I allowed myself to get back on a bit more while home for the Christmas break.

Following all that experimentation, I think I'm back to where I was last May. That is, at the macro level, the world would unquestionably be better off without Twitter in it, because Twitter as a system or structure is broken and unfixable. But at the micro level, the truth is that my experience on that otherwise diabolical website is almost uniformly positive. Aside from the "itch" that results from any social media participation—an itch that is not conducive to the life of the mind or of the soul—my time on Twitter is basically beneficial. I meet new friends, interact with old ones, and generally have fun talking theology, pop culture, and other such things. I avoid toxic profiles and bankrupt topics, and am not prone to tweet things that could get me into trouble.

So I think I'm going to return in full, with the usual prior disciplines intact (no app on the phone, for example) and one remaining ascetic caveat. I'm not going to sign on to Twitter, either to tweet or to read others, during work hours on weekdays. The best thing about my self-imposed exile was the way in which it freed up my mental energy and attention while reading or writing in my office, as opposed to dwelling on some ongoing thread or idea for a tweet.

So that's the amendment to the amendment. I'll check back in a month or two and share how things are going.

Oh, and happy new year!


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