Comedian Louis C.K. Has a Point About Twitter Addiction

By the time I am done writing this article, I will probably have clicked over to Twitter at least twice. That's in addition to checking my mail, refilling my coffee, printing my preschooler a clipart drawing of a horse to color, and letting the cat in/out for the trillionth time. The good news is that I don't have any pointless staff meetings to attend these days, so my work productivity still comes out way ahead. Win!

Still, I wonder about my compulsive habit of checking Twitter throughout the day. How much more would I get done if I didn't find myself scrolling through hundreds of tweets on a regular basis? Would I be a happier, more contented person if I unplugged from the never-ending stream of social media?

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My favorite comedian, Louis C.K., recently discussed Twitter during an interview with Conan O’Brien, and I found myself nodding along with everything he had to say. His (hilarious) opinion is that too many people these days feel compelled to live every moment through the lens of Twitter, to the point where they're no longer experiencing real life:

C.K.'s not exaggerating about how reluctantly and rarely he uses Twitter. He must be the only celebrity on it (or only person, period) who has nearly 720,000 followers but doesn't follow a single person in exchange. His posts are few and far between and for the most part are only intended to promote shows and products.

As for me, I often post on Twitter several times a day. I use it to check in with friends, follow news, and have mini-conversations with people. It's true that I sometimes feel as though too much of my life is spent in front of a computer—such is the nature of freelance writing—but I also feel like the ability to connect with other adults throughout the day helps keep me sane.

Being at home full-time is a lonely gig, after all. My days are spent working on my laptop and taking care of my kids, and aside from my husband, the grocery store clerk, and my kids' teachers, I often go weeks at a time without interacting with other adults. This might sound embarrassingly pathetic, but Twitter is virtually the only social outlet I have.

There's some truth to what Louis C.K. says, though. When something momentous happens in my life—not the Second Coming of Christ, mind you, but ... you know, my kid barfs all over the sofa, or whatever—I often feel the urge to run to Twitter to talk about it. For the relief of having somewhere to vent, maybe, but also because I've become conditioned to sharing things as they happen. I can't explain it, really. I guess I just find it strangely comforting to believe there are people out there who are sharing my day-to-day life in some small way, in the same way I enjoy blogging.

The difference, of course, is that I usually post on my blog a couple times a week instead of several times throughout the day. Is Twitter the best use of my attention? Probably not. Is it detracting from anything in my actual non-computer-based life? I don't believe so ... but it's worth thinking about, and re-visiting as time goes on.

What are your feelings on your social media use? Do you ever wonder if you should cut back?



Image via Flickr/thenextweb

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