My last tweet was November 8th, 2016, Election Day here in the United States. Prior to that, I can’t remember going more than a few days without a tweet or, at the very least, reading Twitter. But on that night, it seemed like the Twitter-verse wasn’t a space I wanted to be a part of. Was it the seemingly endless stream of tweets and retweets from people around the country and around the world, in and out of my network, telling the figurative “me”, the United States, the world, that we had elected the wrong candidate and how fucked we would all be? Kind of.
The next morning I woke up thinking, “A lot of people are going to be upset today”. But it wasn’t because of the election. It was because they didn’t have enough to eat, or a place to sleep, or adequate clothing for the coming winter, or whatever it was that had nothing to do with who was elected to the White House. After some quiet reflection at my desk, I sent off an e-mail to the local food bank to ask about volunteering. That starts today and for the forseeable future. I may change where I volunteer after a few months, but doing something is better than doing nothing to help someone.
Beyond that, I removed my Twitter client, Tweetbot, from my iPhone, work laptop, and home computer. In the past month, I haven’t looked or cared about Twitter, for many of the reasons above. Interspersed among all the politics, I’m sure I missed a lot about your lives, but I don’t think either of us noticed. I’ll get back on Twitter in spurts, but at the very least, no longer during work. Overall I think it’s a good change. Work is no longer punctuated or interrupted all the time by the sporadic @ mention notification or the blue Tweetbot icon at the top of my screen letting me know “New Tweets Are Available”.
Going forward I’m going to work to focus my energies on things that really do have an impact on people’s day-to-day lives, like volunteering, and less on things that probably don’t, like Twittering.