Professor Green: 'I've had my fill of Twitter'

After 54,000 tweets to two million followers in five years, rapper Professor Green reveals exclusively why he is curtailing his 140-character bulletins – and why we should too

"Just brushed my teeth". "Nearly 12 hours kip. Wowzers." Neither of these things is interesting, insightful or particularly funny. Yet these are things I've said, online, on Twitter, in recent memory, to my two-million-plus followers. What makes this worse is that people, in their hundreds, and sometimes in their thousands, have retweeted and favourited them over and over again, thereby spreading the inner inanity of my brain even further than it warranted in the first place. It's fine to bore ourselves, but must we continually bore everyone else too?

So: Dear the internet, I've got an announcement to make. I'm having a reboot, a digital do-over. I've been on Twitter since January 2009, and I'm tired of the digital diarrhoea that has spewed forth from my fingers in the 140 format. Over the last five years, I've tweeted over 54,000 times – an average of 27.47 times per day. From last night I've decided to erase my timeline and start over. I'm deleting all previous tweets and unfollowing the 1,600 people who clutter up my timeline. If I followed you on Twitter, chances are you have my number. Call me if you want to catch up.

I don't regret a single thing I've tweeted but I want to erase the past and start afresh. I've done a lot of my growing up in public; I've wrestled with a lot of demons, come to terms with many life-altering experiences and gotten married; most of, if not all, of which has been documented in some way shape or form on the internet. When I'm 80 years old sucking soup through a straw and my great grandkids are scrolling through my timeline, do I want them knowing I told two million people that I took a shit at 4pm on a Thursday? Not really.

I complain a lot, which is perhaps a birthright of mine as a British citizen, but is Twitter the place? How something is interpreted often has as much to do with the person reading it and their mood when reading. I don't spend my time angrily tweeting, it's often with a smile on my face, but this hasn't stopped many a tweet being taken out of context.

Gone forever: one of Professor Green’s now deleted tweets Gone forever: one of Professor Green’s now deleted tweets I want to use Twitter differently and I want to use it less. It has become a tic, an uncontrollable impulse. I check my Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and email so many times a day that I'm scared to count.

And I'm not checking the latest situation in the Ukraine. Instead, I'm aimlessly, mindlessly, compulsively scrolling through pages of tedious, useless information. For every one tweet that is funny or interesting, there's 20 informed by boredom or impulse. I need to erase my mind as well as my Twitter feed.

Twitter isn't the problem. Used correctly (step forward Stephen Fry), it's a brilliant platform; it's just that lots of us use it incorrectly. We spew forth the mundane. We follow people we have no interest in. We've allowed it to take away, ironically, our "IRL" ("in real life") experience. We're so concerned with documenting our digital persona that we've forgotten to experience reality. There's now a generation of kids watching an entire gig through their phone. Rather than experiencing the experience, we're Instagramming it. Make memories people, not Vine videos.

The loss of grammar via social media and texting also bothers me. I left school in year eight, aged 13, so I'm no grammar Nazi. But basic punctuation seems to evade most people. And that's a scary reflection of where we're at as a society. I was bought up by my grandmother and my great-grandmother – Edie – who lived with us until she passed away when I was 13 years old. While my nan was out working three jobs, my great-grandma would read to me every single day. She'd read a page of a book to me, and I'd read a page of a book to her. Tucked up in her bed, top to tail, was one of my favourite places. Reading with Edie provided me with amazing memories and meant I associated reading with warmth and love. I was a voracious reader then, getting lost in Matilda and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, which Edie and I would read together. Can grandparents or great-grandparents relate to kids with Minecraft? Admittedly, I don't read as much as I should now, because I'm taking pictures of everything I eat, when I could have read The Goldfinch and tweeted about that instead.

It's time to be more considered. Instead of sitting on my phone, I'm going to do things that benefit my mind; read a book, go to an art gallery, meet a mate for a coffee. That's where my head is at. It's the same with everything in life; balance. I hope, with this reboot, I can find that balance. And, finally, read a good book. I think Edie would like that too.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Recruitment Genius: Internal Recruiter - Manufacturing

£20000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Internal Recruiter (manufact...

Ashdown Group: HR Manager (CIPD) - Barking / East Ham - £50-55K

£50000 - £55000 per annum + 25 days holidays & benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Man...

Recruitment Genius: Operations / Project Manager

£40000 - £48000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This software company specialis...

Ashdown Group: Human Resources Manager

£28000 - £35000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: A successful organisation...

Day In a Page

A nap a day could save your life - and here's why

A nap a day could save your life

A midday nap is 'associated with reduced blood pressure'
If men are so obsessed by sex, why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?

If men are so obsessed by sex...

...why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?
The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3

Jon Thoday and Richard Allen-Turner

The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3
The bathing machine is back... but with a difference

Rolling in the deep

The bathing machine is back but with a difference
Part-privatised tests, new age limits, driverless cars: Tories plot motoring revolution

Conservatives plot a motoring revolution

Draft report reveals biggest reform to regulations since driving test introduced in 1935
The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory