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Twitter: 140 Characters But a Pitch Ain't One - Why I Quit

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AFP/Getty Images
AFP/Getty Images

You may notice there's a Twitter feed on my profile page. You'll also notice that it's empty. That's because I took the momentous decision to close my account. I've left the party, I'm Indiana Jones, machete in hand, cutting the ropes and severing the bridge. Why? Am I insane? Have I found religion? Do you think I know the answer?

Since I've done it - two days ago - I've signed up to contribute material to Cracked, the American humour site, I've written article proposals for The Poke and MSN Him and I've sent them. I wasn't doing any of this before. Sure, I was writing sketches and sending them off, but that pales in comparison to the amount of creative energy being burned inefficiently to come up with jokes on Twitter.

I would check it in the morning, I'd fail to hear dates and times of my daughter's school events that I crucially needed to know because I was trying to reverse engineer a chicken/road joke with the first Poltergeist sequel and worse, I would think in tweets when I wasn't online. It's like quitting smoking, this Twitter phenomenon. I still find myself fidgeting with my phone, expecting to see an update or reply only to remember, with a sigh, that I'd deleted the app.

But then I turn to my Alphasmart, long suffering but friendly and reliable. I'm free from distraction and I type. Unfortunately for you, this is the drivel that comes out. The point I'm trying to make is that it's the first time in a long time that I've been genuinely bored, bored enough to need to do something really productive to quench the undying thirst of creativity.

Twitter took the edge off, like a drug. I was never truly bored with Twitter around and that's not a good thing.

It's important to sometimes be bored in life. To sit, dwelling on the prospect of feeling that way forever, it sets a fire in you, focuses the mind to a more worthy task than sitting around in your underpants watching Minder repeats. Have you ever noticed how Twitter makes television shows you might normally switch over more palatable, even enjoyable, when you've got Tweet buddies to share and sneer with? This year's Eurovision Song Contest was the first one I've watched in at least a decade. Who have I become? Twitter is the Vaseline on the lens of the world.

It's probably not like this for everyone; maybe I have a more addictive personality than others. I swapped ash trays for hashtags. The creative urge has always been like a fix, withdrawal symptoms always drew me back to the words.

Okay, I'll miss the chat, but I've got real friends for that, and I've left Twitter but don't feel bad for me son, I had a 140 characters and not a pitch on one.

Please don't hit me.

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