So I deleted my account. No “Goodbye cruel Twitter world”, no fuss, just delete. I couldn’t take it anymore. I just couldn’t take the lunacy. And I’m a flippin lunatic.
The straw that broke the camel’s back? Carrie Fisher’s death. It’s very sad to lose a childhood hero, and we’ve lost plenty in what seems like a short space of time. But I just couldn’t take another Fuck you 2016! tweet. As one fellow tweeter said, that’s crass. These people pay no mind to the feelings of the deceased’s family, they just get on Twitter as fast as they can to play the game. The game where you don’t care about the person at all, you’re just fascinated with how many people can die within 12 calendar months.
Another tweeter agreed with me on something: when you lose someone close, you look at death differently. There’s grieving, an outpouring of love and sympathy, of fond memories — and then there’s just word-crap.
As I’ve mentioned a few times here, I lost my mum to cancer in August. I could say 2016 took her like all the others, but that would be a distorted way of remembering her. Meanwhile on Twitter, people are cussing 2016 first, and mentioning Carrie Fisher second, or not at all. That feels a bit like me kneeling at my mother’s coffin, pounding my fist on it, and shouting to the sky “Damn you cancerrrrrr!!!”
That would be fuckin crazy.
So I’ve had it with Twitter crazy. It’s a hard habit to kick, addictive like a cheap street drug. You hover over notifications — ready to bask in acceptance, or hit back at rebuffs. Eventually you realise you’re stuck in a loop. One minute, steam hisses out of your ears reading Trump’s collassal ego distilled into 140 characters. The next minute, you’re engaged in conversation with a crank whose phasers are set to hyperbole. Eventually you ask yourself: “What the hell am I doing?!” And then you gather your things quietly while you’re thinking straight, and you just leave. You steal away into the night like you’re fleeing a toxic relationship.
I’m sure there are ways to enjoy Twitter. There’s blocking, muting, unfollowing, protected tweets, etc., but the general vibe I kept seeing before my escape was the worst. Everything was the worst. Very little of what anyone said could be taken at face value. People forcing their slant on everything, connecting issues like there’s one big conspiracy to kill everyone now. As I was leaving, an Irish priest who blesses airplanes became somehow personally responsible for forcing x-number of women to have abortions in English dungeons or something who knows oh look something shiny.
I’m tired of the crazy. It’s like… millions of voices suddenly cried out in faux terror… and I had to suddenly silence them.
Still. Carrie Fisher.My heart feels very heavy, for real. Goodnight princess 🙏🏽
Hi Leif, well your blog just broke the news of Carrie’s death to me. I so hoped and almost believed that she was going to be okay. It was consoling to learn of her death from someone who cared. I don’t do twitter, have an account but don’t know how to use it and whenever I do read something on twitter I can’t understand what’s being said. I’ve seen a little of what you are talking about on Facebook and it is annoying. I hate trying to express myself in writing. I always feel that what I’m thinking and feeling doesn’t come out right and maybe you don’t need any feedback but I always “enjoy” reading your blogs and if no-one ever responds how would you know. Maybe you only write for yourself, but I’m glad you share. Go well Leif. Susan
Thanks Susan. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news. That’s another strange thing about Twitter and social media in general: one just assumes everyone else is in the know. There are so many abbreviations, acronyms and in-jokes, it can be hard to keep up. I suppose aesthetically, Twitter can be an ugly form of communication.
I was genuinely sad to find you no longer there. Yours was a voice of “good” lunacy coupled with the desperation of one surrounded by idiots – made me feel like I wasn’t alone.
Still, I read this and I totally get it.
Thanks B, that’s really kind of you. See you out there somewhere.
I hope so x
What she said. It was nice tweeting with you Leif, keep it real.
I’m sorry you quit Twitter, though I completely understand why. I had to close my account & open another due to harassment – which I vowed I wouldn’t do at the time. Though, over a few months of being off radar I felt that while I obliterated ‘the baddies’ I also deprived myself of the laughter, love and support of the majority of my Twitter community. I just realised today that you’d left, because I finally caved in & bought a Kindle for holidays and discovered your book which I’d bought ages ago but without a kindle hadn’t got around to reading. I don’t know if you check your comments here Leif, and I’m quite sure public adulation isn’t high on your agenda. Nevertheless, I felt compelled to let you know how talented an author you are – and I am a prolific reader! I considered how I would review your book – Belfast Trainspotting crossed with the New Testament doesn’t quite cover it! Your frame of reference is spot on for our generation and as a person with faith in God but with mistrust of man made religion it spoke volumes to me. Keep writing – you’re gifted. And if you feel you can reconnect on social media in whichever platform suits you best, please do. After all, I wouldn’t have found your book otherwise 🙂 Christine Kelly (@LadyKBelfast)
Thanks Christine, you are very kind. I’m glad you enjoyed the book. Sometimes I think of Twitter, and the word Shitshow arises automatically. I wonder what good it does for the world versus the time I wasted searching for some kind of recognition or justification. I obviously think too much 😀