Why I Am Not on Twitter
I am now on Twitter. Read about it here.
I know that readers search for me on Twitter because they ask me if I am there. I am not. There is someone with the Twitter handle @deutsch29. It is not me.
Often enough, I have friends, readers, and fellow education advocates try to talk me into joining Twitter. I had one today. He makes some good points in his argument that I should join:
I know you’re up to your eyeballs working, but I think you would reach a more effective audience through Twitter. It’s confusing at first but is fairly easy, very similar to texting.
All the major players (good & bad) are on Twitter & your message will be seen by many influential people. … More importantly, your message will be seen by all the movers & shakers, much more frequently than FB or blogging. You can easily link your blog as well.
The major news outlets said they get 60% of their new leads through Twitter.
I love reading your writing & I’d love to see your message reach those that it should.
The above is a kind and thoughtful message. And I do believe that having a Twitter account would make my writing available to many more readers. I am not against Twitter, and I am not concerned about learning how to use it.
My issue is that if I take on Twitter, something else in my life must go.
I teach full time, and my job is not suffering as a result of my advocacy, which largely consists of blogging, but also of occasional speaking and, of course, writing books.
My sleep has taken a hit since I began blogging in January 2013, but this school year, I moved more toward 6 to 8 hours of sleep per night and away from the many 4 to 5 hours per night that I had been having over the previous couple of years.
I exercise five days a week, and I have kept this habit in place.
However, even without being on Twitter, I find it challenging to keep up with email. It’s like a turnstile, and I am not able to answer many of them. The same is true of Facebook. I do not respond to many FB messages, not because I do not want to, but because of time.
And I must intentionally defend my rest and personal life because so much in the fight for public ed is important that the issues could easily drain every drop of energy from me until I burn out.
I do not plan on burning out.
Twitter is a different animal. Twitter makes me think of FB with ADHD. Twitter is like speed dating meets reality TV on one’s doorstep after removing the door from its hinges. No shutting it out. And the issue is, if people want to engage me in conversation or debate on Twitter, I do not think it right for me to not participate. And based on my FB history and my history in engaging with people in the comments section of my blog (I do not often engage with people in the comments section of my blog), I know that if I were on Twitter, I would not engage with those who expect that since I am on Twitter, I must be available for the endless conversation/debate that is casino-like in its never-endingness.
If I were to join Twitter and really be available for conversation and debate, something else in my life would have to go.
For example, I would have to be willing to get less sleep. I am not willing to do so.
Or, I would have to sacrifice some of the time I use for blogging. I am not willing to do so.
Or, I would have to cut back on my exercise routine. As I am convinced that both my mental and my physical health are substantially and positively impacted by frequent and consistent exercise, I am not willing to cut back.
Or, I would have to quit my full-time teaching job (out of the question) or somehow skimp on my job performance (also out of the question).
Or, I would have to take more time away from personal relationships than I already do. Also out of the question.
That about covers it.
In sum, I cannot think of a way to be available for Twitter without shaving off time from other areas of my life and putting the balance that is my life in jeopardy.
When I can figure it out, I will join Twitter.
But don’t look for me there anytime soon.
Coming June 2016 from TC Press:
Schneider is a southern Louisiana native, career teacher, trained researcher, and author of the ed reform whistle blower, A Chronicle of Echoes: Who’s Who In the Implosion of American Public Education.
She also has a second book, Common Core Dilemma: Who Owns Our Schools?.
Don’t care to buy from Amazon? Purchase my books from Powell’s City of Books instead.