RIP @paul_clarke—the account, not the person

Wednesday was a sad day.  At 3.42pm BST, Paul Clarke decided that he’d had enough of Twitter.  After 19,999 tweets, many of which enlightened me, touched me, amused me, and occasionally humbled me, he signed off.

20,000. I think that’s probably enough. Now, what’s next? Over and out.

I take this as a move directed against me.  Only 22 hours prior, I’d texted him to tell him:

You are a genuine asset to Twitter and indeed the world.

“Ha,” I’m sure he thought, “that’ll show him!”

In seriousness, he was an enormous asset to Twitter, as I’m sure his other 2,390 followers would testify.  His tweets were inspirational, almost always positive and a true pleasure to read.  He directed us to articles that genuinely mattered, and to photos that were often sublime.  And whenever I wrote an article of a certain ilk, it was his RT that I most actively wished for—a stamp of approval, if you will.

There are about five people whose tweets I eagerly awaited, and this number has now dropped to four.  But I respect his decision.  Twitter has its benefits—without it, I wouldn’t have stumbled upon Paul himself—but it can also suck life out of you if you let it.  And I have been guilty of that, as my wife might vouch.  At its worst, it can be trite, transient, shallow.

If Paul thinks it’s time to move on, it’s time for him to move on.  I for one will be spending less time on Twitter as a result—a good thing, I feel.

For Twitter, status update number 21,495,421,699 marked a sad loss.


3 Responses to “RIP @paul_clarke—the account, not the person”

  1. Janet E Davis on August 20th, 2010 14:54

    I can’t quite believe he’d done it. He was one of the truly good quality tweeters. I shall miss his humour, links photos of dead shrews and sublime skies, witty comments, the way he introduced people to each other, his sheer intellectual energy…

  2. Anne McCrossan on August 21st, 2010 14:48

    I’ll miss him too, it’s a bit of a shock to hear actually and this feels like an obit. my cultural life on Twitter won’t be the same. Thanks for posting, the sentiment’s a shared one.

  3. Paul on August 9th, 2012 00:31

    Oh behave, all of you. Am just on a leave of absence. We all need them sometimes. (Even if we don’t take them…)

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