Media

Why I’m Taking a Twitter Break, By @tammyrobert

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?

Probably not.

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.

My Province

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.

My Friends

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.

screencap

Should I be creeped out or flattered that he seemingly noticed immediately? Weird.

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 tammyrobert@live.ca, 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 tammyrobert@live.ca

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16 replies »

  1. If people can somehow find themselves having a problem with you, they probably have more serious problems with themselves. Talk about weak. You’re one of the most fair and balanced political bloggers out there. You back up everything with facts. Maybe that’s why those particular weak beings go after you with insults and negativity… because they can’t argue the facts you provide. Like honestly, much of your articles/posts aren’t even biased points of view, you’re just simply stating known information.
    Honestly, Tammy, you’re a winner. And losers hate winners. That’s what this comes down to. So f them.
    But the positive thing about taking a break is taking breaks from any and all things is good. It’s summer and you’ve earned and deserve a break anyway. Will miss you! And will look forward to seeing you return! Have fun, Tammy! You rock!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Donna that is super-sweet, thank you so much. I’m seriously never going to run, but please do get involved. Get behind good people with good values, regardless of stripe. Let’s have coffee next time I’m in Regina? Email me!

    Like

  3. As a bit player in the latest feud, I can only say that you were absolutely correct to call out the FB feed of that semi-literate bigot, and the glaring political ties of the rest. Self-important Sask Party acolytes (or NDP ones – they exist there too) and their “Don’t you realize who I am??” attitudes are not worth heightened blood pressure.

    What you do is important, and will become even more so as the current government continues to sink into the morass. And it will continue to sink.

    As for me, I only wish I could write like you. I can research, but you make a succinct points that sting deep – otherwise, why would Gormley be among the first to notice your absence? I

    Enjoy the pool, drink some beer, eat some hot dogs, and revel in the greenness…it’ll be cold and white before we know it.

    Like

  4. Sorry to see you go but looking forward to getting you back.Mr. Gormley’s stomach will no doubt do a backflip when you finally tweet again. In the meantime enjoy your break from the rednecks and bigots as well as all the people who don’t listen to Mr. Gormley’ s program.

    Like

  5. I’ve been feeling the same way. All of it. Except the bit about the talk radio dude thinking I told him off. SO FAR. Anyway, I look forward to your return and even more to hanging out with you on a patio and shooting the shit.

    Take care. See you soon.

    Like

  6. Will miss your observations, even though I didn’t always agree. When you return please consider using your skills and super powers to advocate for SK on a federal level. That is the bigger hurdle we have now. While separating ourselves by prov party lines we are easily overlooked and taken advantage of on a federal level.

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  7. Your voice, your investigative journalism, and your fearlessness will be missed. Your sabbatical (i hope that’s all it is) is a sign of your innate decency.

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  8. As a political junkie and former journo, I love reading your posts on here as well as your tweets. I get taking a break from twitter; while I believe people are mostly good, sometimes social media brings out the worst in humans because it’s easy to be a keyboard warrior. All the best to you.

    Like

  9. I hope you come back soon. Looked at what the haters had to say, and all I can say is that you have no good reason to feel bad. They’re all pond scum and the reason our province has become a joke to the rest of the country. I loved your tweets. Gormley is just mad because he knows you will always chew him up and spit him out. Kinda sad.

    Like

  10. As a political junky I’m sorry to see you go, especially with people like Gormley dominating our province’s dialogue. I’m a fan who’s been retweeting you for a long time, although I admit I have no time for the people who are taunting you and therefore have no time for them. Apologies for my anonymity, but at least you know you’re supported. A certain walking heifer whose first initial is L is going hard on you. Hope you eventually return to being a thorn in her ample side. Keep your chin up. Cheers from a devoted ex-pat.

    Like

  11. I hope you will come back to twitter while at the same time maintaining your mental and physical well being Tammy. I guess for those on the right they see you as a u traitor to their cause. I see you as a person who despite having a different political viewpoint you still have the best interest of every citizen at heart. Sadly the Sask Party and its MLAs and indeed some of its supporters do not feel this way. All the best and come back refreshed and with a renewed sense of purpose

    Like

  12. Hi Tammy,
    You are missed! However, I know how you feel. I’ve lived in Saskatchewan all my life. I love this land but lately I’m feeling like I don’t belong here anymore.
    I’ve been a videographer in this province for over 30 years. I’ve shot around the world but always felt at home here – until the Sask Party got their majority. So much of what I shot ran on SCN. Gone! The high-end docs I shot depended on the Saskatchewan Film Employment Tax Credit. Gone! My wife has a pain condition requiring her to go to a clinic in Saskatoon by STC bus every six weeks or so. Gone! I have an issue with my foot and finally got in to the podiatry clinic at the General Hospital. Gone!
    I don’t think the Sask Party wants me here.
    Since they got their majority, they’ve behaved like drunken teenagers whose parents have left for the week. They’ve declared “Party Time!!!” at their house.
    Their ‘party’ is getting too raucous, rough and out-of-control. Pretty soon things are going to get broken, the curtains will catch on fire and someone is going to get pushed into the pool and drown.
    They’ve been given some warnings. Their allowance was cut back. But instead of kicking all their buddies out of the pool and getting them to clean up their mess, the Sask Party has told the complaining neighbours to shut up, move away or, worse, come over and clean up the mess yourselves while we party on.
    We need you, Tammy. We need your loud voice telling the Sask Party they’re behaving badly and someone is going to get hurt. They obviously aren’t adult enough to make the right choices. They’re behind the wheel and are about to say, “Hold my beer and watch this!” because they think they can get away with anything. This isn’t going to end well if we don’t have a good cop like you willing to break up the party or to pull over the drunks.
    Enjoy your break but please come back soon.
    Thanks,
    Ian Rogers Home Quarter Productions Regina, Saskatchewan

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Tammy, Kudos. I recently quit Twitter. I thought it would be a 30 day hiatus, but at day 29 I realized I wasn’t going back. I quit for all the reasons you stated. It made me upset with the world, and that’s not a healthy place to be. I do feel a bit disconnected from local news, but I know have space in my head for more productive activities. Thanks for sharing. Cheers, Mike (formerly known as @dezguy)

    Like

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