Everybody has a limit, and I finally hit mine.
I’ve been on Twitter since 2009. I wasn’t one of the very first, but I was a fairly early adopter. Back then, people took the prompt “What are you doing right now” very seriously. There were tweets like, “I am feeding my cats”, or “Do you really need to know that I’m scrubbing my toilet?” There were more tweets questioning what Twitter was for than anything else. In short, Twitter was weird.
Over the years, Twitter has changed significantly. Recently, I read an article that said more than 70% of Americans get the bulk of their daily news from Twitter. People, whether celebrity, political talking head, or plain old mom from the ‘burbs, use twitter as a sort of running commentary. Sometimes it acts as a chat room; other times a loudspeaker. Entire careers have been created managing social media campaigns for companies and similar. What was once a weird, awkward way to communicate, has become a global lifeline.
Lately though, and by “lately” I mean since 2015, my Twitter experience has become more frustration and less joy. I could actually expand that to say “my social media experience has become more frustration and less joy”…but I’m gonna stick to Twitter for today. At first, I had followed everything and everyone who interested me. Duran Duran (obviously at the top of my list), anyone who was either IN Duran Duran or worked with them in some way, places I liked, people I enjoyed, political figures, news organizations, pretty much anything. I liked the banter, enjoyed the news bytes, and for the most part – it was good. Then John (yes, THAT John) left Twitter in 2012, Andy stopped posting and vanished until late last year, Dom stopped posting for the most part, and my Twitter feed slowly became a never ending sea of bad news.
By 2015, I was seeing swell after swell of ranting, complaints, anger, frustration, and yes – Donald Trump. I went back through and unfollowed anything that had the least bit to do with politics and news, hoping that the ocean of anger would subside a bit.
Unfortunately, the damage seemed already done. Very little of my timeline had anything to do with real connections or friendship or any of the original bright-eyed, bushy-tailed ideals or reasons for joining Twitter I once knew. Many, if not most twitter-users weren’t interested in making friends or communicating (for the most part). They were interested in seeing who could yell loudest, or get the most “likes” for the most appalling things they could say. Say the wrong thing, and you were unfollowed, called names or continually harassed. Either agree to the opinions of the Twitter masses, or expect to lose friends in the process.
And that was before the pandemic.
Since Covid-19, Twitter has become the place to blame and shame, right along with Facebook and Next Door – but again, I’m sticking to Twitter for today. It was, and still is, exhausting to see every day. I began feeling like the life was slowly being sucked out of me. As I told someone the other day, just because we are all experiencing the pandemic and the struggles therein does not mean we all have the same problems or experience. There’s some post about being in the same storm, but not the same boats. That’s about right. Just as I wouldn’t dare tell someone in New York how they need to handle themselves, I’d appreciate the same respect. Seems simple, yet incredibly complicated in practice. That, on top of the other mentioned tensions I’ve been feeling, pushed me over my limit and past my boundary. I quit. Finito. Done.
That’s right. I quit Twitter. Well, actually – I stopped updating my Twitter and deleted the app from my phone. I haven’t deactivated my account just yet, but I will at some point soon. I also deleted Facebook, and aside from absentmindedly grabbing my phone throughout the day and looking for something until I realize that I’m just in a bad habit, I’m good. I didn’t realize how much time I’d wasted not being totally present here at home. Don’t tell anyone!
Yeah, I know that Duran Duran sometimes engages with fans. Yes, I’m aware that I might miss something important (except I won’t because although I won’t keep my personal account updated, @dailyduranie still exists!), but I also have peace. Very much needed, wanted, and appreciated, calmness, stillness, and peace.
My social media footprint will shrink considerably from here on out. I think John had the right idea all along. Go figure! The best way for Duranies to stay connected with me is through the Daily Duranie Facebook page. My personal Facebook is kept to my closest friends and family. There was a small group of people I communicated with on Twitter that I’ll miss, so if you’re reading and don’t have my contact info, drop me a line on gmail.
I’m also on Instagram. I post a lot of pictures of my chickens and whatever I’m seeing or working on here at home. In fact, I would say that there will be more on there in the coming months. We continue adding to our farm animal brood, and work to add more pasture space for sheep and goats, and plant fruit trees. We’re growing apple trees along with several other types of fruit because my husband is starting a cidery – it’s our retirement plan. He made his first batch back in November, and it turned out fantastic. So much so, that he’s already made an agreement with a wine-bar owner in our town to make more in Autumn. Big changes will be coming, although I’ll still be around for Duran Duran. Always.
I’m still blogging here, don’t forget. That’s another reason I’ve stopped with the social media – I needed to back off just to have the peace-of-mind to keep writing. We all handle things differently, and we all live under very different circumstances. Not everyone lives in the country, and not everyone lives in a city with high density housing, and public transportation. I wish there was more true support than the vitriol for anything and anyone who feels differently. Just don’t forget to live. Wash your hands, but also LIVE.