Clearing out, contd.

True to my word, 2013 has begun with the clear-out of all clear-outs. First of all, I deleted those photo sharing accounts which have brought no benefit whatsoever – 500px and JPG Magazine – and have started to focus on uploading new photos to my own website and to Flickr again. At home, the cellar is at least somewhat improved, having disposed of two car boot loads of old cardboard to the recycling dump. A sack full of clothes I no longer wear has been deposited into the Texaid bin.

I’ve been using Twitter since 2008, after being introduced to it by Dani¬†when he interviewed me for a job, but it has become more and more of a one-way street and a distraction. It’s a good way of keeping in touch of a handful of people who choose not to use Facebook for personal contact, but I’ve tried keeping away from it since mid-December. Although I miss it a bit – in the same way as I miss cigarettes occasionally – it’s not the great loss I thought it might be.

Deleting my account would mean the loss of 17,284 tweets, but quite frankly: does that really matter?

No.

Deleting my account would make sure that I focus more on proper contact with friends and acquaintances, and help me to work more efficiently. Having a Twitter account means that one reaches for the smartphone every time an ad break comes on the t.v.; worse, it is an almost constant distraction at work, when one has a Twitter feed constantly available.

The only loss which makes me hesitate before deleting my Twitter account is the casual contact I have with those who aren’t casually online anywhere else. Therefore, the experimentation continues with a massive cull of those people I’m following on Twitter. This morning, I followed 263 other users. Now, the number is down to 38; pretty much all of the associations, generic accounts and celebrities are gone. Those who have well maintained blogs are gone, those who update Facebook regularly are gone.

Those who remain are the core of my original list; those whose tweets I am actually interested in reading on a regular basis. Time will tell whether this clearing-out leads to me deleting my account in the future, or whether, by trimming down the list of people I follow – and hence the number of tweets I see – my account will be saved from the axe of new priorities.

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