I’ve been verified on Twitter for years.

That blue check is a hell of a drug.

Jack Dorsey and his fellow execs know this. They know the threat of losing the blue check is enough to force most tweeters (except the President) to behave themselves. They know it’s enough to keep them coming back, even after they’ve sworn off the utterly toxic platform.

They know it’s a social signifier, but also a shackle. That – like the microbots in Michael Crichton’s Prey – it quickly becomes part of who you are, publicly, professionally, socially. Barrels of ink have been spilled about how being a “blue check” is synonymous with being a “liberal elitist,” like that’s a bad thing.

Here’s what definitely is a bad thing: Twitter. You don’t need another post explaining why, and God knows I don’t need to write another one. The salient point is that a few weeks ago I realized I could get rid of my Blue Check simply by changing my username. And that, after that, there’d be no reason left to stay.

So that’s what I did. By choice, and with relief, I de-Checked myself then de-leted myself. 30 days later, I was gone for good.

So that’s that.