What Twitter does to your mind, body & soul.
Beautifully written. I deleted my account about 4 years ago, only to replace it with Reddit which is even more of a problem.
As a former creative-turned-addict, I long for the days where I was bored. Where I could eat cereal without a YouTube video or clean my room without a podcast. Dead air used to be the frequency on which my ideas and the time to execute them came from. But it's uncomfortable now.
My own silence is uncomfortable. It's tragic.
Really well-written, putting a finger on a lot of thoughts I've had recently.
One day a year ago I logged off Twitter after over a decade of near-daily use and never came back. I sometimes think about the people I forged bonds with on there, and how we've slowly drifted apart in the year since I left because I'm not keeping up to pace with what they are discoursing about. I would say something that had apparently been hyper-analyzed to shreds on Twitter and deemed Bad, Actually, (and these would be small things like takes on characters in media or similar) but had no way of knowing this because I hadn't been privy to any of this, and thus what I said became a Take, and a stale one at that, and they liked me a little less and sighed heavily as they corrected me on the error of my ways. It became harder and harder to connect to their way of thinking, which the more I distanced came from such a dark way of viewing others. And it was familiar. It really was. Which made me all the more resolved in not returning.
I've been very alone in the year since I left, but I think it's for the better. Twitter was not a fix to loneliness, it just made me a people-pleaser aching to belong. I'm not proud of that, but I am starting to take pride in the person I am becoming outside of that site.
in the past months, I’ve deleted and reinstalled r
twitter many times. After reading this, for the first time I contemplated deleting my private account with 3 or 4 followers that I’ve had for years now that I use very frequently(about 3-5 tweets everyday) and I was shocked by how appalling the idea seemed to me, it moved me to such distress that I’ve been unable to stop thinking about why that is, and the only way I can articulate it for now is that it feels like all those tweets are just Me, my raw self. Sometimes when I have nothing better to do I scroll through all those thoughts I’ve had in the past to feel Real. When I was in therapy before every appointment I would scroll through my tweets to get a better idea of how I would describe my mental state to my therapist. The idea of erasing all of that makes me want to die just a little bit. Anyway so like. Yeah. Great article, looking forward to reading more from you
I never got into Twitter, but these are exactly my feelings about why I removed Instagram from my phone last year. I've felt so much lighter and healthier without it, but I also still feel tied to it - I want to know when my favorite tattoo artist will open her books, I want to get cat videos from my sisters, etc. I check IG via web browser a couple times a month. Someday I'd like to delete the account altogether, but I'm not sure yet how to let go of these last, vestigial ties.
I loved this essay - CJ, you continue to articulate so much that feels intuitive, yet I would never be able to put my finger on the pulse of it like you do.
don't use twitter but I deleted tiktok a few weeks ago and wow this was a rewarding read
ive never really used twitter actively and reading this I'm so glad about that. the reality contorting effects you describe here sound horrifying. i definitely relate to the video game brain mode, been playing the new Zelda game and it's great but i had a dream that the world was ending Zelda style last night and that was not cool, kinda shows how much of an impact that shit has on our brain chemistry. we need to remember that video games and social media are REAL and not detached from the "real world" so what we do there has an impact on our very existence.
I won't lie I do use twitter but I didn't relate to the name of the app in this essay because I mostly go there like twice a week to look at some fandom content and dip in like 5 minutes, but this essay made me aware how social media in general has shaped how I think of ideas and experiences, a lot of my ideas shaped for a social media platform to be played just so that someone can see. My Twitter right now goes by the name of Tik Tok but I've been avoiding that app half the time. I hope I never get truly invested in these apps... or maybe I'm already invested but unaware how much I've invested...(insert self depreciating joke here) I hope to see more videos and more writings soon <3
Not to be annoying. BUT! In the 55th (including the Musk-quote) alinea you say
"People who habitually use Twitter will often make comments about Twitter as if its synonymous with lived experience.“
This is wrong, because it is supposed to say it's synonymous instead of its synonymous.
reminded me of this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e5y2GKk6sOI&t=9s
Thank you for this eloquence. We need to talk again sometime.
I'm not a Twitter user, but this is still an important reminder. Absolutely loved this article.
I think the scariest part is "the synapses" created
Great points! 👏