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Why I Am Not on Twitter

March 31, 2016

UPDATE 04-02-16:

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:


school choice cover  (Click image to enlarge)

Stay tuned.



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?.

both books

Don’t care to buy from Amazon? Purchase my books from Powell’s City of Books instead.


  1. 2old2tch permalink

    Good decision. Stay grounded in a somewhat normal life. 🙂

  2. Christine Langhoff permalink

    You are right, Mercedes. Something else would have to go and everything else is too valuable. I don’t use Facebook. I’m retired. My daughter, who earns her living doing social media, taught me how to use Twitter so I can advocate for public education. She stays away from Twitter unless she’s working and her first advice to me was to limit my use.

    But I still wish you were on Twitter.

  3. There are expectations to being a part of Twitter. It requires time and energy that I’m not interested in expending, either.

    I was at a district wide tech meeting when Twitter was first introduced. It was billed as a professional service that would allow for instant communication between people in their respective fields. Tell someone about an idea you have or set up a meeting. We all signed up that day.

    But as Twitter expanded into a social media phenomenon, my interest contracted. To the point where It’s no longer a part of my life.

    • 2old2tch permalink

      I think instant communication is overrated unless we are referring to real face to face conversation. I have enough trouble not offending someone when I respond to blog posts without engaging in “discussion” that encourages fast turnaround and quippish responses. Too much chance of foot in mouth disease for me. Plus I am a beast in danger of extinction. I do not have a smart phone nor do I really want one. I stare at a screen far too much as it is.

  4. Laura H. Chapman permalink

    Not on Twitter. Or Facebook, or linked in. Similar reasons.

  5. dolphin permalink

    BRAVO! The saddest sight is at a community gathering when the young are staring at their electronic screens –not engaging wholly in the gathering. I am afraid that when they look back on their lives, their memory recall will be “huh, what…?”

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