When Donald Trump was banned from Twitter, I didn’t understand why he was so upset about having to leave the platform. However, after not using Twitter for a week, I have begun to understand why he was so angry.
Before I took on this challenge of not using Twitter, I always woke up and checked my feed to see who and what was trending on the Internet. The first day without using Twitter, I had tried to leave the app on my phone and trust myself not to use it for the week.
This proved ineffective, as I caught myself trying to open the app multiple times due to muscle memory. About halfway through the first day, I ended up deleting the app from my phone, as it was too much of a distraction.
Many people use Twitter to post or as a source of entertainment, but most of my Twitter use is viewing viral news and trends. Unfortunately, by the second and third days, I became less and less informed about information around the world and trending topics. For example, I was unaware of all the lawsuits that one of my favorite rappers, Travis Scott, was facing for the 10 deaths that took place at his concert, Astrofest.
As I headed into my fourth day without Twitter, I realized that if I wanted to be informed of news happening around me, I would have to search for the news that I was interested in. So, during the fourth day, I signed up for multiple email services that would give me daily updates about trending topics and important events occurring around the world.
After the first four days without Twitter, I finally realized what made this app such an appealing news source for me: the convenience of having everything that interested me in one place. However, while I had finally found a new medium for news by signing up for these services, they still felt less effective than Twitter because I wasn’t used to the new apps’ interfaces.
Getting news from Twitter, I found, is a much different experience than reading a professional article. There was a learning curve as I began reading real news stories rather than 240 character blurbs about trending events. I also found that most things that I thought were big news stories on Twitter were nothing more than short, unimportant stories on large news outlets.
At the end of the week, I found myself satisfied with the news that I was reading from these new sources. I noticed that I was enjoying reading lengthier stories that I had previously despised. I realized I was reading news stories more frequently during the day, but this wasn’t because I wanted to know what I was missing out on.
In my life, I tend to use news as a basis for communication with my friends and family. I had never noticed how helpful it is to have a consistent and reliable source of news that I can read. During this week, I realized that current events are an important part of my life and serve as a mode of communication between me, my family and my friends.
The week without Twitter was an interesting experience that will change the way that I view news for the foreseeable future. This week opened my eyes to more professional journalism and news reporting while before this week, I only knew the informal and less professional news reporting that I viewed on Twitter.