You’re too young to remember the TV show, Dear John, but it is about a group of divorcees, and the theme song starts by saying “Dear John, by the time you read these lines, I’ll be gone”. Well, Twitter, I’ve been gone for a few weeks now, and I’ve only been tempted a couple of times to return to you. Have you even noticed that I’m gone?
I remember when we first started spending time together back in 2012. We shared a lot of laughs, funny memes, and insightful articles. If it wasn’t for you, I never would have read the stunning piece “My Family’s Slave” from The Atlantic a couple of years ago. You also introduced me to great people like The Washington Post columnist Elizabeth Bruenig who is always insightful and witty about politics, the Church, and her family.
But over the past year, I’ve started to notice some tension in our relationship. Scrolling through my timeline has brought me less joy and new insights, and more anger and anxiety. The anger has really stood out, not because anger is always bad, but because of how personal it has been. Reading those personal attacks, viewed as clever mic drops, would stay with me throughout the day, and I would find myself composing different responses in my head. The anger and anxiety I was witnessing was forming my thoughts. You were in my head, and not in a good way. The anger I read fed an anger within.
Twitter, my friend, it is like that old story of the two wolves fighting in my heart: one that is resentful, vengeful and deceitful, and the other that is generous, compassionate, and truthful.
Which one wins? The one I feed. Well, I was feeding the anxiety and anger by spending time with you.
Basically, what I’m trying to say is: it’s not you, it’s me…well that’s not entirely accurate, let’s say it was 50/50. I’m sure you are still offering a lot of great content, but I have been getting lost in the weeds. I know there are millions of people who still want to spend time with you and are engaging in positive ways, but I need to step away. You’ll be fine, I swear. We’ll still see each other, I’m sure. Your tweets have a way of leaving the timeline anyway.
But if you need to find me, I’ll be on Instagram.
Cover image courtesy of FlickrCC user Orin Ryan.