No more, Twitter.

 I thought about and agonised over this for months. 

Even writing this seems strange. Why do I feel the need to justify my reasons for leaving, or at least automating and reducing, my engagement with a social media platform? 

But I will. 

I have felt a growing feeling that my life is becoming over complicated. That there are worries in my life that appear to be pressing, urgent, and important. And then when I talk with anyone who is not connected to my life on Twitter they do not understand my concern. They haven’t even heard of the issues that are pressing on me. 

The Feed shows me all the outrage. The terrible takes. All the worst possible reads of someone’s thoughts and it all just soaks in.

It stays with me.

Perhaps this is my mental health struggling to come to terms with it all. And that’s fine if it is. But that does not seem to be any reason to stay. 

The constant barrage of negativity and anger is not good for me, or anyone I would argue, and I need to step away from it. There is a constant seeking out of the worst possible ideas and sharing them. There is a relentless ‘fight’ that just wears on me. I can’t see a future where I continue to engage with it. Following over one thousand people and almost two thousand people following me, I feel alone. It is not a sense of community I have there. It is a sense of anxiety and fear. Like I’m the only leaf still clinging to the tree in the middle of autumn. Like I’m in high school again and I still don’t have the cool shoes. 

So, fuck that.

Really, the only thing that keeps me there is the people. A small selection of excellent folk whose creativity and kindness are a beautiful thing to behold. Over the last few years, I have fostered some excellent friendships, or perhaps creative relationships is a better term? (I don’t know, the platform makes it difficult to tell) They have been a great source of creative inspiration, connection on a deep nerdy level, and laughter on the topics that I finally found others are interested in. I hope that leaving Twitter doesn’t mean I lose them too. 

There is too much parenting to do, words to write, films to watch, and books to read to be carrying the weight of the world as well. 

“What should young people do with their lives today? Many things, obviously. But the most daring thing is to create stable communities in which the terrible disease of loneliness can be cured.”

― Kurt Vonnegut

 While researching loneliness and community, I came across this quote. My attraction to it is probably biased based on my enjoyment of the author’s work and my deluded idea that I am still young, but it still hit home. There is no community on social media. There are only bad takes and algorithmic anxiety.

I will be leaving Twitter, yes, but not entirely. My trusty WatBot will be posting regularly and I will have automatic posts sent there from other sites. I will be leaving Twitter, yes, but not the internet.

If you would like to chat with me and other like-minded folks, share your work and find some shelter from the constant bombardment of socials you’re welcome to join this Discord server: Largshire Tavern. It seems rather cliché to be making and sharing this, but Discord doesn’t weigh me down the way other platforms do. And it can be what I want it to be. Not what some machine thinks I want. So, please come along and say hello. 

If Discord isn’t your thing, sign up for this newsletter: The Watkinson Post. These newsletters share my work, and a collection of cool stuff I find on the internet once or twice a month.

Take care of yourselves, long days and pleasant nights.

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March 2022
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