140 characters or less- to say what?
At this point, anything and everything. By the end of 2016, the social media site averaged at 317 million active users, trailing behind Facebook's 1.79 billion. People all over the world use Twitter to follow friends, family, and famous people, and for the last decade, it's grown immensely in adolescent and millennial popularity.
So, what's all the fuss about? Well, my understanding is that when a new form of social media makes a sudden appearance, young people flock to it for a few reasons.
1. Everyone is talking about it, so people want to see what's up.
2. People like the opportunity to be first and/or use it as an opportunity to become internet famous by gaining likes and followers.
3. Teens and young adults like their "safe space," where relatives can't monitor their every move.
Because older generations tend to stray away from new and seemingly complicated forms of social media, millennials like to take advantage of being able to tweet whatever they want without their parents' knowledge. Everyone who is anyone is always on it, updating people on their moods, meals, thoughts, and trivial daily activities, all the time.
It's an addiction, really. And I, myself, fell victim to it like any other average person out there. Not a day went by that I wasn't scrolling through my feed for hours on end, checking for a few minutes several times a day. After a while, it gets draining to see the same things over and over again.
There comes a point in time where you realize that no one gives a shit what minor inconvenience triggered you on campus or what song lyrics best describes your not-so-subtle feelings today. I think it's the limited amount of allotted characters that contribute to the urge to post insignificant updates all too frequently.
I'm also a strong advocate for facing my problems in real life and not passive aggressively "sub-tweeting" about people and things that are bothering me. It's important to me that my loved ones know how I feel, and that people who should not be involved mind their own business. Because I appreciate the same respect of privacy from them, I stray away from splattering my personal matters all over the bulletin board for the public eye.
Don't get me wrong, I still use Facebook and Snapchat, and I love certain aspects of social media, like the ability to stay in touch with my family and friends and share my own exciting news with the world at the push of a few buttons. And if Twitter is how you stay connected, then by all means, keep tweeting. It's just not for me anymore.
I thought deleting it would leave me with a lot of bored time considering how much time it kills without you even realizing it, but since I deactivated my account, I haven't been bored in days, nor have I been glued to my phone. In the hours I'd spend laying on my bed, avoiding productivity, I've gotten shit done. The impulse to fall into the trance of distraction is now null and void.
I've finally started cooking for myself, reading (yes, actual books), going for walks to museums and to the gym, and have stayed on top of preparation for the upcoming semester. I'm not saying deleting one of your many social media accounts will magically change your life, but believe me, it's a start.
I've never felt better since reconnecting with reality — I rely more on myself than other people to discover news, trivia, and entertainment. I'm less concerned about what's going on in everyone else's lives and more focused on my own.
No longer do I need to tweet about "what's happening" — If it's necessary, I'd much rather say it to your face.