I am not in Twitter jail.
I am not being sued.
Nobody has told me I have to leave Twitter, or else.
I have 30 days to log back in and reinstate my Twitter account, and of course I’m going to do so.
I really didn’t think anyone would care or notice outside of my friends, but the onslaught of messages has been overwhelming and so flattering. I seriously love you guys.
I deleted Twitter because I need to take a step back for a few weeks. Totally back. No sneaky logins or trying (and failing) to ignore notifications on my phone. Who am I kidding – if it’s there, I’m going to check it.
Here are a few reasons why I opted to take a short but clean break:
My Trial Break
I was recently out of the country on holiday, and so I spent a micro-fraction of the time I normally spend on my phone on Twitter.
This period away got me thinking about the point of Twitter – as in, what is it? I spend a lot of time on it, and when I’m on my death bed, will I wish I had spent more?
I love the engagement I have on it with people from all over the province and country – opinions from diverse people which I never would otherwise have had the chance to consider.
But how much is too much?
Right now I can honestly say I don’t know, and I need to figure it out.
Taking some inadvertent time away from Twitter forced me to question its value – and this isn’t the first time that has happened, so maybe it’s time I take the question seriously.
My Blood Pressure
Once I was back from holidays I jumped back into Twitter headfirst, and in no time I found myself feeling so angry. Angry, once again, at what I was seeing in the news on Twitter, both at home and abroad, and then angrier at the things people were Tweeting about that news.
So, I would close Twitter on my phone and turn to my laptop to “work”, and before I knew it I was right back on it, getting angry all over again.
Twitter has become a toxic place for me, and I wasn’t doing a good job of getting away from it, so something had to give.
Guys, it hurts me to say it, but I really hate this place right now.
I mean, you know things are bad when you’re in Florida and looking back on your home province and thinking “god, that place is such a backwater.”
As stupid as it sounds, the shit that came out about one director chosen for the Saskatchewan Health Region pushed me over the edge. I mean, the SaskParty had the time to vet every single 2016 election candidate’s Facebook page, but they didn’t think that it was important enough for the board of directors of the single largest and most important provincial organization we’ve seen in decades?
If they didn’t manage to ferret out someone who posts racist, sexist, insensitive, hateful, offensive and extreme viewpoints out in the open for anyone to see, what the hell else did they miss? These are the people who are going to be responsible for the healthcare of the entire province.
What in the actual fuck Saskatchewan?
I actually started looking at real estate outside of the province… but I don’t want to do that, and I don’t want to feel this way. I love Saskatchewan, so I need to gauge how much of what I’m feeling is about Saskatchewan, and how much is about Saskatchewan on Twitter, and then what I’m going to do about it.
Yesterday or the day before, I can’t remember which, I got a Tweet from a guy who took issue with something I said, which is normally fine because I appreciate the differing perspectives. He may have even had a valid point, but I don’t know because he hashtagged that Tweet with a personal insult, and so immediately I disregarded it, and him.
That shit drives me nuts. I try not to personally insult anyone on Twitter, and if I have done that to you, I truly am sorry. I am blunt, I love satire and I’ve got 140 characters to make a point – not the best combination at times – so I appreciate I may have hurt feelings inadvertedly, but there’s only so much I can do about that. In a political climate such as ours with such a strong majority in power, critical voice has never been more important. Bullshit needs to be called out on a regular basis. It’s not personal – but it is essential.
Anyway, buddy starts namecalling, so I respond harshly and before I know it I’ve got his entire family and his business partners/employees up my ass.
Great, another group of people I’m going to have to avoid at Christmas parties because of a Twitter feud, I thought. They wouldn’t be the first.
And then I thought about how stupid that is. They might all be perfectly lovely people in Real Life.
I mean, it’s possible.
See, the flipside is that on Twitter I’ve met a number people (including my two very best friends, J and A, who I love so, so much) who are now a part of my Real Life. People with broadly diverse opinions and perspectives, many of which differ dramatically from my own. I care about every single one of them so much and am honored to consider them friends.
As I was sitting there, contemplating my latest Twitter feud, it occurred to me that my relationships with all of the Real Life people I met on Twitter could have gone a very different direction. My blood ran cold at the thought of how easily, with just a few characters in just a few seconds, the friends I love could have been people who couldn’t stand me, and vice versa.
With all that in mind, I hit the Delete button on my account. And then my phone blew up. 🙂
Of course though, there’s also been the other predictable response.
He’s got it in quotes, and he’s a lawyer so presumably he wouldn’t make that up (at the least because it seems like conduct unbecoming of such a profession), but I don’t remember saying that, or about who(m?…whatever).
He can’t be referring to himself, because I just don’t care enough to “take down” anyone, especially one I once was so fond of, and who now appears so sadly to be struggling, bitterly, with his increasing irrelevancy.
Bottom line, to all those dancing on my social media grave – if you think I’ve departed because I’ve been threatened, or because I’m being punished, or because of you or any other individual(s) – get over yourself. Seriously.
So with apologies in advance to those glad to see me go, I’ll totally be back. I’m hoping to make it two weeks, but I’ll be happy to make it one.
For everyone else (hell, even the haters), email me anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org, or keeping checking back here for new blog posts. Either way we’ll talk soon – in the meantime get out there and enjoy that beautiful Saskatchewan summer. xo, Tam
For those of you who care, I’m Tammy Robert. I’m a writer, but pay the bills consulting in media and public relations. Email me anytime at email@example.com
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