Mental Health

I Broke Up With Twitter

The Writing Wombat
3 min readJul 13, 2022

It’s been two days and I feel great

Photo by Jeremy Bezanger on Unsplash

I broke up with Twitter on Monday and I feel great. I’m not worrying about trolls or bots or followers or why my Twitter made my mental health worse. Although I do know the answer to that question.

The entire goal of Twitter is to amass followers, as many as humanly possible. On Twitter, quantity is absolutely more important than quality. I’m a big quality over quantity kind of gal, which is why Twitter and I are no more.

I began writing on Medium full-time in May and jumped back on Twitter around the same time. My pinned tweet was my referral link, I posted every essay and op-ed I wrote, and I included a link to my Twitter on my Medium “About” page. I followed other Medium writers on Twitter and joined those writers' lift events.

Monday, I realized Twitter was harming my mental health. I was getting all caught up in numbers and followers, I was blocking trolls, I was using bot programs to make sure my followers were actual people, and I took a look at my Twitter stats.

Whenever I tweeted a link to something I wrote, that tweet received almost no engagement. This meant A) my 4,000+ Twitter followers were not interested in my writing, and B) this is a huge waste of my time. Combined with the feelings of depression and anxiety that flooded my brain every time I logged into Twitter, I chose to deactivate my account.

I am not a narcissist, something you have to be if you want to be noticed on Twitter. I do believe I’m a good writer, but good writing isn’t what people on Twitter want. They want clickbait, memes, headlines that piss them off, or cute videos of cats and bunnies. And the people who share those things are rewarded with tens of thousands of followers, some of whom might be actual humans.

Being online in any way has always been a double-edged sword for me. Social media in general is a popularity contest, and I’m not that kind of person. I’m more of a sit quietly in my house and avoid other people kind of person. But if I want folks to read what I write, I have to promote myself. Something else I’m not very good at doing.

I’m not going to promote myself on Twitter, because Twitter isn’t good for me. No more follow-back parties that are infested with sock puppets, no more trying to attract followers who probably won’t ever click on a link to something I wrote, and no more attempting to be someone I’m not.

My mental health is more important than Twitter, it’s more important than being popular, it’s more important than gaining followers anywhere, even on Medium. Twitter was sucking so much joy out of my life, the joy I have worked very hard to recapture. I like that joy. I want to keep it.

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The Writing Wombat

AJ Jacobs thinks I'm funny. I'm a member of RAINN's Speaker Bureau. I have been known to hug trees.