Elon Musk Says He's Leaving Twitter for 'A While'

File photo of Elon Musk in Germany from September 3, 2020.
File photo of Elon Musk in Germany from September 3, 2020.
Photo: Maja Hitij (Getty Images)

Billionaire tech mogul and heavy social media user Elon Musk tweeted early Tuesday that he’s leaving Twitter for “a while.” Musk obviously loves to tweet, which leads the average person to ask an obvious question: Just how long will Musk’s Twitter hiatus actually last?

“Off Twitter for a while,” Musk tweeted at 3:45 a.m. ET on Tuesday, or shortly after midnight where he lives in California.

Musk, the second wealthiest person in the world, often makes news when he tweets, sometimes to his own detriment. In the summer of 2018, Musk tweeted that he wanted to take his electric car company Tesla private at $420 per share, a reference to the devil weed Musk has been known to smoke. The tweet led to an SEC investigation and $40 million in fines.

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The SpaceX founder also randomly called someone a “pedo guy” on Twitter back in 2018, leading to a defamation suit. Musk eventually won, though we’ll admit we’re not sure how. The guy that Musk was tweeting about was not a pedophile, despite the tech founder’s bizarre claims on Twitter.

Even the most seemingly benign activity by Musk on Twitter can move financial markets. When Musk changed his Twitter bio to just “#bitcoin” last week it was the talk of CNBC and caused bitcoin to surge over 12%. Bitcoin has fallen to its pre-Musk-surge price this week.

What do you think? Will Musk be able to keep his emerald-encrusted paws from typing on Twitter throughout Tuesday? How about on Wednesday? Could Musk actually make it all the way to Thursday without sending a single tweet?

Many people have sworn off Twitter for good, only to return in a relatively short period of time. And while Musk hasn’t said he’s quitting Twitter permanently, we know how hard it is to quit addictive social media activities, even for a small break.

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Musk might make it through the day, but he’ll be back. They always come back.

Matt Novak is the editor of Gizmodo's Paleofuture blog

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DISCUSSION

Many people have sworn off Twitter for good, only to return in a relatively short period of time.”

Twitter allows a deactivated account to be restored within 30 days of deactivation. I haven’t had a harder time getting through the first month of something that was destroying my life since I locked myself in my apartment with an SNES and had my girlfriend come over with food and kind words as my sole source of “stuff required to not die” and let the amphetamine withdrawals do their worst.

I’ve been sober for nearly 25 years. I’ve been “Twitter sober” for five weeks (left Facebook in 2018; that was a lot easier. Facebook sucks. Twitter actually had content I wanted to engage with (read: NBA and NFL gamedays) when it wasn’t turning me into a person seriously considering mass murder for political reasons.)

My mental health in 2021 has markedly improved, as I knew it would when I decided to cut off my social media for good.