Now I have one more reason not to be part of the Twitter community: I don't want to be, as David Bowie might once have put it, a junkie junkie.
Twitter, I have learned, is one of the most addictive things in today's culture. According to a story I read, surveys found social media to be more addictive than cigarettes and alcohol.
Saskatchewan just jumped on the bandwagon with a couple of other provinces to outlaw OxyContin, except in the most extreme cases, but maybe we should also be looking outside the world of drugs and take the fight to Twitter.
The little blue bird is just so irresistible. Scrolling through 140-character posts until you find the perfect one to re-tweet is euphoric, and it looks like it eventually becomes a compulsive need. The problem must be the 140 character limit. It seems like such a small dose, and the user will always say, "Just one more tweet. It'll be quick."
The danger is in the perception that one more 140-character hit won't do any damage, but it just fuels the fire and leads to easy relapses.
I see Twitter destroying lives in the Mercury office on a daily basis. All day my boss goes from tweet to tweet passing it along so our sports reporter can take the next hit. He just hit 10,000 tweets earlier this week.
They've become a group separate from everyone else, outcasts who are always in the know. They're information junkies.
They are at their worst during office parties. Everybody will be socializing, having a good time, and then we'll realize we're missing a few. The Twitter gang is off getting their jitters under control with a steady dose of hash ... tags.
We can see them, heads hunched over with the glow of their smartphones reflecting off their sweaty brows. They don't even try to hide it. Right in the middle of the work day, my editor will head to my general manager's office.
"Did you see what BizNasty just tweeted? Here, take a look."
I hear a sharp intake of breath and then laughs. My bosses are high on BizNasty.
I don't think my co-workers are bad people for tweeting. They're victims of a social media world that preys on their desire for information and learning. When you're in the media world, it can be hard to tune out that voice that tells you to go deeper and find out what is trending right now.
I can honestly say that I've been tempted by Twitter as well. I've sent one or two tweets in my time but was able to get out before I got in too far. I consider myself lucky after seeing what it's turned my co-workers into, mere shells of their former selves.
I just want them to know that we all care about them, and they don't have to be Twitter abusers anymore.