Today I shut down my Twitter account. Doing so filled me with immense joy.
I’d long contemplated deleting my small corner of the tweet-verse, but I kept limping along, out of an obligation to my Author Platform.
It is said that an author needs a Social Media Presence, so I felt Twitter was mandatory. Millions use the platform, and we’ve become so accustomed to it that we think nothing of writing (or even speaking) in hashtags.
An author who dedicates themselves to Twitter can surely meet new people, engage in enlightening discussions, and sell a few books along the way.
But those potential gains come at a cost. While you’re trying to find sane, kind people to interact with, you’ll inevitably come across trolls, fanatical Social Justice Warriors, corporations disguising their callousness with fluffy ad-tweets, and Jupiter-sized cesspools of ignorance.
The craziness on Twitter is a pervasive, poisonous fog.
Epithets like “misogynist,” “racist,” and “Nazi” are now tossed around like confetti. Discussions about movies and TV series have turned into brutal flame wars. “Progressives” rail about the lack of “diversity” ad nauseam. And then there’s the bombardment of #MeToo and #BelieveWomen, so we can’t forget for one nanosecond that some men behave badly.
“Toxicity” is another favorite talking point. In the Twitter world, nearly everything is toxic: gaming culture, sports culture, Hollywood, comic book culture, and of course – the despotic king of toxicity – masculinity.
(Feminism and progressivism, of course, are never toxic. To dare suggest such a thing means you’re basically a terrorist.)
Stamp collecting is probably toxic, too, so be aware of that the next time you visit the patriarchal torture chamber known as the post office.
Yes, I’m bashing the crazed left-wing, but there are plenty of crazed right-wingers on Twitter as well. “Crisis actors” and #QAnon, anyone?
However, for reasons I can’t fathom, the moonbat left has decided to make Twitter their base of operations, from which they launch shrill invective against all who oppose them. There are far more “progressive” crusades running rampant on Twitter than “conservative” crusades.
And this is coming from a guy who thinks of himself as a progressive.
A progressive used to be someone who protested unjust wars, wanted a strong social safety net, wanted the rich to be taxed their fair share, and who desired regulations that curtailed the power of Wall Street and large corporations.
Now “progressives” complain about misogyny in “Game of Thrones,” the lack of representation in “Harry Potter,” and vilify people for comments or jokes they made years ago.
And every outrage, no matter its relative size, is treated like it’s so evil that Satan himself gasps at the despicableness.
There’s no nuance, no sense of proportion, no humor – just attack, attack, attack.
Seriously, many Twitter feeds are just chronicles of misery. People post an endless stream of things that !!OUTRAGE!! them, along with comments that vacillate between hopelessness and defiance.
Even the things they like, they can’t just like: “[insert movie] was fantastic! If only Hollywood would make more movies like this, instead of being regressive minority-hating pigs!”
Scrolling through Twitter put me in danger of becoming like these heartless bomb-throwers.
Many times I’ve become furious as I watched someone get ripped to shreds for saying something that was plain old common sense.
I wanted to dive in, face the torch-wielding maniacs, be the dam against the tide of insanity. I wanted to stand up to the bullies and dismiss their overheated non-arguments with calm, rational precision.
And in some cases, I did choose to fight the mob – but in the end, nothing changed.
Few people change their minds during an argument, and especially a Twitter argument. Everyone is entrenched in their position. If someone does manage to defeat a person on a particular point, that person will just shift the goalposts, or split hairs, or do whatever they have to do to prove that they’re right and everyone else is wrong.
All I was doing was wasting my time and getting myself all worked up. I could’ve stared at the wall and daydreamed about mowing the lawn and been more productive.
There are plenty of people out there who are “happy warriors,” and can battle the crazies with wit and logic without letting their opponents’ viciousness rub off on them.
I salute those people. I wish I could emulate them. But I can’t. The Twitter quagmire tugs at me too intently, forcing me down into the muck with the rest of the perpetually outraged.
“But Matt, why don’t you just use the #amwriting, #writingcommunity, and other writing-related hashtags? There are tons of people out there having fantastic conversations about writing!”
I’ve used those hashtags, but I’ve never been impressed with the conversations. Mostly it’s the nature of Twitter: discussions about writing can’t usually be distilled into a 280-character tweet. A question such as “What makes a great antagonist?” needs several paragraphs of explanation, ideally with numerous examples.
And if I see that one “Pirates of the Caribbean” meme one more fucking time….
So, to sum it up:
– Do I think Twitter is entertaining? Occasionally. (See: Thoughts of Dog.)
– Do I think Twitter is informative? No. (Does anyone ever click on the links to news articles and blog posts, or just read the headlines?)
– Do I think Twitter makes me money? No.
– Do I think Twitter is filled with rampaging nutcases who believe they’re the saviors of the world? Yes.
So goodbye, Twitter.
Don’t @ me.