Nazis, Trump, divisive politics, abuse of women and people of color, and the people running the service don’t care about any of it. I want to leave Twitter and never look back. So, why haven’t I?

  1. I met some of my best friends on Twitter. What would my life look like without them? What new friendships would I miss out on if I weren’t there?
  2. I met some of my clients on Twitter. They helped me launch my business. Without them, where would I be? What awesome clients might I miss out on in the future if I left Twitter?
  3. When we sign off on our podcast, we list our Twitter handles. Never mind that we haven’t made a new episode in a while. What if I want to do a new podcast? It’s typical to tell people to contact you via Twitter. And if not Twitter, where?

These things bring me back every time. It’s the what-ifs. Twitter has altered my life in big and small ways. It’s a cesspool now, though. I’m not sure how to reconcile the positive with the negative.

I’ve quit the service numerous times only to come back. But each time I quit, I stay away a little longer than I did the last time. I’m currently on hiatus again, and I really don’t want to go back.

But, more than the what-ifs, I usually return because I miss my friends’ voices. They don’t congregate anywhere else. Leaving Twitter means leaving them. It means isolation. I’ve not even been away a week, and I already miss my friends.

I don’t miss the constant exposure to the ills of the world, though, or the rampant negativity, the trolling, the abuse. I think we could all do with a lot less of that. Why would anyone choose to make that part of their daily life?

We need an alternative to Twitter. I don’t know what that looks like, but I have a feeling it’ll involve tight control of micro-communities where users have the ability to ban people for bad behavior. Whatever it is, I hope it surfaces soon and gets enough traction to pull my friends (and some third-party app developers) away from Twitter for good.