Twitter is Addictive OR Public Commitment Dooms the Outcome

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

I noticed a while back that my Twitter usage was following a very predictable upward swing, thanks to the enlightening data-driven TweetStats. That’s basically a full year of upward trending. I’ve never been so consistent about anything.

I increased my Twitter usage because my network grew (more time spent with the app), I got in the habit of posting more (better at tweeting, and better at thinking to myself, “I should tweet this), and because I expanded my usage (more @ responses and more direct messages).

Sometimes people want to restrict their Twitter usage. For instance, in April Amy Senger (@sengseng) said she wanted to tweet less to spend more time with the real world. There may have been some problems with this statement, though. First, “tweet less” turned out to describe a trend, not a decision. Second, her method (Reducing followers to reduce @ responses) didn’t address the urge to tweet. The result? An initial commitment that gradually fades.

Perhaps the public commitment to tweeting less was the act that doomed the outcome (and it seems especially true given that usage decreased right up until the moment of public declaration). Then again, maybe Twitter’s just too addictive to quit.


sengseng July 2, 2009 at 1:45 PM  

i love when ppl call me out:)

sengseng July 2, 2009 at 1:57 PM  

BUT I challenge your analysis. If you notice, my highest tweet month in the April/May/June quarter is still lower than my lowest tweet month in the Jan/Feb/March quarter. Ipso facto: I've been tweeting less:)

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