How Twitter Changes My Brain

Posted by Matt Birchler
— 2 min read
How Twitter Changes My Brain

It recently dawned on me that I've used Twitter basically every day for over a decade, and while I'm not mad at the platform, nor is it making me sad or anything like that, I just wanted to take some time away to see how I felt. I feel largely the same, but I did start to notice something that I had never considered before.

What Did I Notice?

I've suddenly become acutely aware that my brain is constantly processing the world around me and trying to crank our witty tweets. I never really thought this before, but something novel would happen and I would think of a funny way to talk about it, and then I'd tweet it. Sometimes it never came together and I didn't tweet, but my brain is always on the hunt.

For example, I walk my dog on a few routes around the neighborhood, and one path takes us by this fire hydrant with a cup-o-noodles cup and a fork stuck on top of it. It's been there for months and every time I walk by it, my brain starts thinking of a witty tweet I could send with a picture of it. I've never come up with anything really good, but every time I walk by it, my brain kicks into gear and tries again.

See also novel weather conditions, little software quirks, random things I hear people say…it doesn't matter, my mind is always looking for ways to convert my day-to-day experiences into tweets.

That's weird, right?

But Like, is That Actually a Problem?

I really don't know, but it's definitely an example of a way social media has changed how I think, even when I'm not browsing my feed. The one difference I've noticed since I stopped tweeting is that I let things leave my headspace quicker now. Since I won't be finding the most clever way to share that experience (and let's be real, "clever" and "snarky" are often interchangeable on social media), I can more easily let the thought pass and not linger on it. I think this is a good development

When Will I be Back?

No idea! I was planning on jumping back this weekend, but honestly, I'm enjoying the break. According to my stats, I tweeted 831 times in January of this year, or 26 times per day. Now of course many of these were replies to other people (people I like, it must be said), but even if 1/5 of them were original ideas, it's been a nice break keeping those thoughts to myself for a bit.