Goodbye Twitter

I deactivated my main Twitter account today, after renaming it, downloading my data, and taking one of my existing spare accounts and setting it to the old name in order to preserve my “brand” (ugh).

In early 2017 I did something similar with another Twitter account. That time though I didn’t ignore the siren song, and was back soon enough.

I’m not sure how permanent this decision will be, but I find the toxicity of social media too much to bear. A few months ago I disabled my Facebook account (the second one I have created, after deleting the previous one), and you can find me purely on Facebook Messenger.

Facebook is measurably evil. So is Twitter.

I like messenger apps. I thought I liked social media too, and I was rising in the Twitter popularity ranks. Famous people were beginning to follow me.

It was for nothing though, because the fact is I spend too much time writing meaningless words that go out into a cesspit of hate and intolerance and advertising and brands. It’s too much. It’s the 2018 version of the first fifteen minutes of READY PLAYER ONE (a film I only watched 15 minutes of), and I just don’t care enough anymore to be a part of it.

I thought I could carve out a quiet niche in the SQL Server family, and other things kept intruding. American politics for one.

There’s another social network that was started a little while ago called Mastodon. I looked into that, and was fairly nonplussed with its claim of balance and federation. Turns out it was too good to be true. Wil Wheaton (whom I adore as a fellow actor and technology nerd) was chased off Mastodon today because of something that was misinterpreted during the Gamergate saga. It was literally a misunderstanding that someone capitalized on because they felt threatened by some imagined injustice.

If any of this makes sense to you, you’re probably sympathetic to how obnoxious it all is. If on the other hand none of this means anything, I’m jealous and I want to be ignorant of the entitled and hollow outrage, just like you.

It’s tough negotiating your way around people at the best of times. Having to deal with pile-ons fuelled by hordes of invisible people missing the point (accidentally or intentionally) is another level of Do Not Want.

So I’m off Twitter mostly. That goes for @rabryst, and now @bornsql. I have my little actor profile at @west_yyc, but it’s mostly there to announce things. The @bornsql one will be a dumping ground for my technical blog posts.

For the record, I’m trying my best to be decent to people, share my knowledge about databases, be a mentor, and sell my book, but y’all are making it really hard.

Maybe the extra time in my day will be spent on more productive endeavours. We shall see.

2 thoughts on “Goodbye Twitter

  1. I can relate. As the elections approached a couple years ago, I had a tough time too, and considered the same actions. I unfollowed a bunch of people, muted a bunch of terms, and then found a balance that works pretty well for me. I kinda feel like an ostrich sticking my head in the sand, but with social media, it’s up to me to curate the newspaper that I want to read. If I let others curate it for me, I’ll end up with their agenda.

    I liken it to the difference between live broadcast TV (stuffed with ads) and Netflix/Amazon Prime. Once I switched to curating my own evening agenda, without the networks trying to scream at me (“BUY THIS DETERGENT! VOTE FOR THIS CANDIDATE!”) I was so much happier.

    Also, try Instagram – I absolutely love it because it’s so easy to identify the jerks, hahaha. Anybody who publishes pictures with quotes on them, I just unfollow, and that’s the end of that. Nothing but uplifting stuff, puppies, sunsets, boats, and cars for me, heh.

    Stay mentally healthy. You’re awesome and the world needs you.

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