Note: This post is a follow up to Coffee With Trolls
Ah, has it been two weeks since I logged out of Twitter in a huff? I tell ya, time flies when you’re not drinking liquefied hate on a daily basis.
I’ll take a sugar-free vanilla latte instead, please. 😜
Well, I can’t deny the results of my most recent quitting. My mind is clearer, and my emotions no longer feel like a rubber ball being smacked between a dozen angry paddles. Yesterday, I read a book along with my morning coffee. It was nice! This morning, I checked my blog feeds while drinking coffee and that was nice too.
I considered deleting my Twitter account, but about 10% of my blog traffic comes from there, which means I have readers there. So I’ll syndicate this blog to Twitter for the time being. But how do I make my blog accessible there without getting sucked in myself?
My current approach: Once a week or so, I log in on the mobile site and immediately click the notifications tab to see if anyone has been talking to me. After I respond to any notifications that require a response, I log out.
When I checked in last week I thanked a blogger for a positive book review and responded to a DM from an IRL friend about an upcoming visit. It was a three minute visit, in and out. That seems workable.
Wait. What Was That Blog Post About?
Despite my intentions to remain Twitter free (other than replying to replies) Twitter has a way of wrapping it’s tentacles around me and dragging me back into the inky dark like a victim in a killer squid movie. I had the same experience when I left Facebook a few years ago, and it takes a while to locate all those tentacles and unwrap them. Last week, I kept getting blog posts in my feed reader referencing MeToo accusations against writers I read. But the details of the allegations? Urg. They were all on Twitter!
Well… I got sucked in one afternoon and read some of the unfolding events. Many of the allegations seem credible, and I was bummed. But I feel more informed, I guess? On the one hand, I want to know what’s happening in my industry. On the other hand I can probably wait for an article or summary to be posted elsewhere.
(mutters) Stupid tentacle….
Contemplating Cancel Culture
After reading through the recent spate of accusations against men (and at least one woman) in the writerverse, I can see that the fallout has been accompanied by the usual concerns about “cancel culture” on Twitter. The notion goes: You’ll make a mistake, big or small, current or historical, and then you’ll be piled on by a Twitter mob and your reputation will be destroyed, and your career will follow. And it won’t matter if the allegations are true or not, the mob will sentence you.
I’m no expert on this subject; I have only my personal impressions. To me, many “cancellations” seem to be nothing more than consequences for genuinely bad behavior. Other times the allegations seem very nebulous, with screenshots pieced together to create a narrative that seems incomplete. These aren’t easy dynamics to pin down.
Do Twitter movements accept allegations as fact? Yes. Are some of the allegations true? Yes. Are some false? I assume so. Is it wise to participate in an online culture that hosts reputation-burning parties on the regular?
My gut says… probably not?
I honestly don’t know. But the notion that “most of them deserve what they got” leaves me uneasy, even if it might be be true. I keep thinking back to Seneca and his letter about the Coliseum. My issue isn’t with consequences for bad behavior. It’s with the methods we use, and the gleeful ways observers kick the “criminal” with the sharp toe of their boots once it seems safe to do so.
I won’t miss that.
Well, I’m ready to set this topic to one side and focus on more important things. But I remain concerned that my occasional notification checks on Twitter will draw me back inside, despite my best intentions, so I’ll put two appointments on my calendar: a weekly reminder to check notifications (instead of doing so on an ad hoc basis) and a 90 day check-in to see if syndication is working for me.
Here’s my updated Twitter profile:
Futurama memes courtesy of the Morbotron.