Falling out of love with Twitter

March 31, 2010

Dear Twitter

It’s been a week or so since I last spoke to you.

I’ll be honest, right from the start. I’ll just come out and say it: I’ve suddenly and pretty much completely fallen out of love with you.

I don’t know what this means. I don’t know if I’ll get my love back, and I don’t know that if I do I’ll feel the same way I used to. I think it’ll happen, but I don’t know when. It might be now, when I push “publish”, or tomorrow, or next week. It might – although I very much doubt it – be never.

I’m not sure why this happened, although I’ve got a few ideas, which, if you’ll bear with me, I’ll write a little bit about here.

While I’m being so honest, I’d also like to say this: In the last week I’ve missed you, but only a tiny little bit. It hasn’t hurt nearly as much as I thought it might. I’ve popped my head in, sent a DM or two, checked that no-one is being too rude about me, but for the most part I’ve been out of the loop.

While I’m really laying my cards on the table: I’ve actually felt relieved for the most part. Relieved, and quiet, and more in touch with the stuff going on out here in that thing they apparently call the real world.

As you know, Twitter, I’m a Scorpio, which apparently means I’m either all or nothing. Personally, I think the alignment of the planets has diddly fuck all to do with anything, but in this particular aspect the magicians with the big hats and big hair have got it right. I’m an “in or out”, “up or down”, “violently agreeing or not” kind of guy. I always have been, I always will be, and I’m way past being able to change this. I know it makes me a bit of a wanker at times, but that’s just me.

So when I sucked on the crack pipe you offered me back in [whenever it was], it came as no surprise to me that some level of addiction would follow soon after. I tweeted on average – Christ, I dunno – 20 or so times a day. I used to check it way more frequently than that. That’s the beauty and the danger of being always connected. I got to the stage where I’d read a book and tweet about it every couple of pages. I couldn’t watch a film without checking to see if anyone else was watching it. I spent entire mornings having conversations about stuff I won’t give a shit about in 10 days time, let alone in 10 years. I’d look up and it’d be lunchtime. My concentration is shot to fuck. I can’t hold down a paragraph of anything heavy, let alone a chapter. This isn’t a Susan Greenfield moment, by the way: tiredness, an over-busy brain and life in general don’t help. But Twitter doesn’t, either, especially when you misuse it like I got into the habit of misusing it.

I loved you, Twitter. I will again. But right now, you just feel like too much noise, too much presence in the wrong place.

Don’t get me wrong. This is – as everyone says who takes part in a breakup – not about you. It’s about me, and the person I am. It’s also about where I am right now: busy, book in the offing, head full of stuff, wanting to understand who I am and where I fit; wanting to simplify, radically; wanting to reduce the damn noise and get at the good stuff, the meaningful stuff, the lasting stuff.

[“Clearly,” – I hear you say – “he’s getting old”…]

Social media – the big bad thing that we’re not apparently allowed to be good at anymore (since the inevitable tribes of wankers selling “social media guru” services arrived, with no clue about what it *actually* means to engage with people in meaningful ways) is one of the things I do, and one of the things I understand. I believed in it. I still believe in it, unfashionable though that is right now. I’m not selling out of social media, in my brief spell away: after all, I’m blogging this fucking post, like the social media twat that I am. I just happen to have gone too damn far, just like those fuckers with the astrological charts said I would. And, irritatingly, my response to that is just as predictable: a total break, not just a lessening. I don’t do lessenings, remember? I do extremes.

And that, for those of you who are asking (and thank you for asking), is that.

I started writing this thinking I might have something profound to say. Turns out I’m just saying “It’s all a bit noisy, I’ll be back” and in doing so, I just added another 700 words to the noise.

Maybe I’ll just tweet it instead.

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