Social media is cool and all, but there are some things we need to discuss
Recently, I deactivated my Twitter account for 29 days and there were serious reasons why.
No one is entitled to give you their time. COVID has made people more lenient with “social media breaks” but these are not a privilege. They are a right for every single person.
Twitter has been slowly morphing into a social activism site. It’s all fine and dandy to bring awareness, but not everyone can or wants to be one online 24-hours a day. And guess what? That’s a valid choice! People shouldn’t feel or be publicly bullied because they aren’t retweeting the cause of the day. It may sound harsh, and some may say it’s a hot take. It’s not. People have the right to educate themselves in private. Why are the same people who’re so quick to push awareness to not forcefully out those closeted as queer, neurodivergent, mentally ill, or defend people who gaslight the poor for using government money to buy “expensive” cakes because “You don’t know their story,” not giving those who aren’t on all the time(!) the same grace?
And along the lines on being online every day—no one owes you or anyone online and in their life an entitlement to their time. So many OG Twitter authors are migrating off the site, and I’ve started the same. Along with the heaps of negativity and fishing, it’s obvious to see who’s there for the right reasons, to make friends and a community, and who’s trying to ride to coattails of the hottest topic or author.
Several people have come to me with the same stress that made me take a step back. It’s not a niche feeling. It’s not a privileged feeling. It’s a very universal feeling that others feel they can’t express due to backlash from the same users tweeting to not feel pressured by social media trolls.
Breeding and condoning toxicity as the norm. Social media is smorgasbord of it, and I’m not sure if it’s because I’ve strayed from using Facebook as my go-to, or if it’s because of how I can protect my platform elsewhere (such as Instagram), but Twitter has been the absolute worst. I’ve never had so much stress, anger, resentment, rage, depression, despair, hopelessness, etc. from any other social media experience. Along with people pushing what they think your feed should look like to be the “right” type of Twitter user, the user population in and of itself can be awful. I’ve made best friends there, but in the last year—the dramatics, victim playing, lies, theft, and absolute fakeness wore me down. And yet time and time again, I saw these negative comments and accounts being the ones that gained more popularity. That may have been the crème de la crème for others’ social media experience, but I never wanted it to be mine.
I put so much of myself into helping people, and this is a Me problem. But I continually went out of my way to try and help those who repeatedly may as well have slammed the door on my face, only to come trying to weasel back when they saw me succeeding in aspects of publishing or life. This is my White Knight Syndrome: needing to help others if I feel that I can.
But when they were drowning, they wrenched my hand and pulled me in instead of pulling themselves out.
I needed to break the connection that made me feel like I needed to help.
Constantly checking cringe-worthy news and anxiety inducing accounts when I was not in the headspace for it. Almost like an addiction, I wanted to know—needed to know—what was going on. Every single time I looked, knowing my headspace was not clear, it left me vexed. Even when I was doing well, these accounts leaked poison into my life. Toppled by one crushing weight on another, it became too much to bear, and that never left, regardless of if I was online. What I needed was a way to not be tempted to even look at what was being said, stolen, and all the pseudo attitudes.
The #WritingCommunity having cons that outweigh the pros. There are so many other things from the last year that pushed me into this needed break. But the main thing, honestly, was how hypocritical, slanderous, and deceitful this community is. Not was. Is. Still is. The arrogance and entitlement and overall fake behaviors. It’s not hard to find accounts that tweet things just for the likes. This is because (brace yourselves) 8 times out of 10, they’re fake or nonsensical notions for the sake of followers. It’s not hard to notice patterns of accounts who ice out friends or followers based on “faith” or, rather, no evidence from bigger accounts.
For some reason, people think that Twitter is going to be what makes their career. So they try to get in good with popular accounts. Gain their friendship, their clout, and try to use it for themselves. And it doesn’t work. They break away from friends or slander innocent people over things they don’t have the first clue about and never take the simple step to clear up miscommunications or what was really going on behind the scenes.
Twitter will not break careers (we’ve seen many stay just as popular despite morally questionable claims), and just the same, it will not make yours. You have a better chance at being a 1% author than Twitter making your career. So treat each other with kindness and be real. Make authentic connections and friendships because those will be things that help you thrive in (writing) life.
Not all of this stuff happened to me. But all of it has happened to my friends. Even if it doesn’t happen directly to you, it breeds a certain type of anxiety and/or rage that simmers in your veins long after you’ve logged out for the injustices done to your friends or their friends. Maybe this is just because I’m extremely protective of my friends, but it was another big deciding factor.
The #WritingCommunity loves it’s negativity, self-pitying, and victim mentality. These are all things violently oppositional to the life I want to lead and the things I want to surround myself with.
Enough was enough
I got to the point where I needed to make a change for my mental health because it was affecting my already poor physical health. Deactivating my account for 29 days (it completely disappears after 30) ensured I couldn’t be tempted to look at ignorant comments in frustrating political news, tweets from followers I really wanted to unfollow but was weary of the possible follow-up drama, or be surrounded by this pessimistic atmosphere. It’s helped like I’ve never known.
During my time away, I got more revising, editing, and writing done than I have since I first became active in 2019 and shortly after I got sick in the same year. I have more energy, I’m happier, smile more, laugh more, am more excited with any and everything!
My future, career, education, new ideas, series, agents, publishing.
I’ve been focused on the possibilities rather than a frustrating standstill (as is the popular social media mentality). I lost fearing possible drama by unfollowing or blocking accounts that consistently caused me anxiety because being away showed me how much stronger, resilient, and better my well-being improved away from these accounts—Twitter in general.
I’m refreshed and so thrilled with what’s to come. I’m wrapping up several projects’ revisions, I’m planning to co-host a podcast dedicated to writing, publishing, positivity, and above all truth. I’m pursing more education towards furthering careers. And more than anything? I’m in a better headspace than I have been since 2020 started.
It’s perfectly fine, healthy even, to step back and take breaks. Anyone who belittles you for it can easily be taken care of with a simple block button. Any “friends” who chastise you for it aren’t your friends and don’t deserve what you give them. No one is entitled to your time or energy or focus. Especially social media.
I’m slowly migrating off Twitter as far as writing goes, and I’ve grown more and become better since the transition. I’m happier every day with this decision, and strongly suggest others adjust their social media habits if they’re constantly battling anxiety and depression. Most likely, the culprit is on the screen.
Vibes only, no negativity ✌️
My eternal mood is now this aesthetic 🖤