What I Learned During a Brief Twitter Fast

Marshmallow Wars

I posted my 100,000th tweet on May 18th, and then left Twitter alone for the next 12 days. Part of it was so that I could leave that weird milestone (and not one that anyone need feel proud about) up there a while, and partly because I thought, “I wonder what I would learn if I shut up for a while.” And so I did.

But I didn’t really. I started a secret account, where I wanted to follow other people from a non-me perspective, to see what it’s like to talk to “big names” who look and see a guy with only 45 followers. I wanted to see a lot of different angles, so that I could tell you more than, “I took a break for 13 days.” And so that’s why I’m writing you this post.

What I Was Using Twitter For

More than anything else, I feel in my heart of hearts that I used Twitter as a kind of “I’m still alive” pulse. I tweeted a lot of inane things, or “in the moment” things that really were basically the same intention: “I’m here. See me?” So, I found that learning to be interesting. I also found that it’s amazing just how many times a day I observe some thought that I want to share with everyone on Twitter, some of them useful and some of them that pulse I just mentioned. I spent one day tallying the amount of times I wanted to tweet but didn’t: 47.

Now, I obviously used Twitter for more than that. 209,000 people wouldn’t follow me if that’s all I posted. My most common tweets were @replies to other people. I found that I spent a lot of time responding to other people and interacting with them. What’s interesting is that when I went incognito (not really) and started my tester account, I noticed that many of the “big guys” I was following (in the music space, not social media) aren’t especially @reply types. In fact, I plan to write a report or blog post or something about what I learned about them in the process (and how it can help you).

How I Intend to Use Twitter Going Forward

As of today, I’m back on the clock. I intend to use Twitter in the following six ways, which align with my business goals and personal interests:

  • Sharing about causes. This continues to be important to me. Take a moment and visit Skip1.org. I’m wearing their shirt today.
  • Promotion. I will still use the service to promote my own business, offerings, and other activities.
  • Media. Most people want to learn something from following someone. I will do my best to educate and help.
  • Community. This is still a very powerful experience for me. What I get from the community I can reach on Twitter is a very wonderful two-way street.
  • Prospecting. I am in business, and Twitter helps me reach the people I need for my business.
  • Learning. There are so many educators freely sharing their knowledge on the platform. Not sure where to start? Try putting a few topics or keywords into Listorious and see what you find.

You can use it however you choose. That’s just what I’ve discovered I intend to do.

As for what media I intend to share, My goal is to help you build your network and help companies develop their digital channel. I’ll post accordingly.

Try a Twitter Fast

What would happen if you quit Twitter for 7 days? What would change? What would you learn about yourself? I know that, for me, I learned a lot. It also gave me a much needed chance to really consider what I intend to share going forward.

What do you think?

Print Friendly