We just came back from an almost week long holiday in Edinburgh. We celebrated our tenth wedding anniversary and Cherith’s birthday.
Prior to going on holiday I had told myself that I wouldn’t be distracted by social media. I wasn’t. Not much.
The day before we came home I finished reading A Million Little Pieces by James Frey. I found myself staring at Twitter. Staring at the book. Staring at Twitter. Holding the book. Holding my phone.
Out of the blue I asked myself how much value Twitter has. For me. Now. After all this time. After all those tweets. All those opinions. All those words. Replies. Mutes. Blocks.
I looked at the book. Compared the noise of twitter to the book. Compared it to the Graham MacIndoe exhibition we had visited in the portrait gallery the day before. Compared it to real people and real relationships. I thought about the value in those things.
I looked at the book again. Then looked at Twitter.
I weighed all of this up and was certain that I needed to leave.
We had two brief conversations about it.
This isn’t as reactionary as it may seem. If I’m honest, it’s been coming for some time. It isn’t a big decision. It isn’t brave. It’s not that big of a deal. I don’t need it. It doesn’t need me.
I have followed and have been followed by some brilliant and inspirational people. I have been trolled by idiots. Idiots that I know and some that I don’t. Many people have got to know me. Some only think they know me. I have shared useless information. I have shared things that I believed were useful. I’ve been embraced by people on the other side of the world. I’ve been mocked by people in my hometown. I [think] I’ve encouraged some people. I know I’ve pissed people off.
These experiences are not exclusive to me though. I’m not special. If you’ve built a following on Twitter these are probably your experiences as well.
It has been brilliant. It has been awful.
And now I need to leave.
I may reflect some more on this… we’ll see.