The most common request I receive after the weekly avalanche of movie requests has always been for me to do more writing. To date after nearly a year, I’ve only managed to produce three pieces for The American Sun (and they are excellent, you should definitely be following this site) while I peter around on different projects. This is a problem that has caused no shortage of frustration and despondency due to the inability to produce. There’s always a new project, something that needs to be done, something that needs to be created, uploaded, recorded, promoted, and so on and so forth.
There’s always someone who needs to be dragged on Twitter.
That’s the problem there, isn’t it? I’ve never encountered anything like Twitter in all my life. I’ve seen it destroy content creators and lolcows because of that quick fix you get from sending out a snarky little text for the entire world to see. I’ve seen it destroy people’s ability to write. Forcing someone to condense their ideas to a message restricted in length is a double-edged sword as it will encourage people to have more brevity, to get to the point, to strike at the heart of the matter, but its medium carries with it a heavy price. As you are the content, the product, its producer and consumer, the public marketplace necessitates that you play to an audience, perform for that audience, and create narratives for that audience.
Twitter requires conflict, drama, brands, arcs and storylines to form around the accounts that populate it. And because this is where the conversation, where news happens, where narratives are shaped and memes are forged, it cannot be disregarded or ignored. One has no choice but to participate, especially as you will be dragged into the spotlight if you serve as fodder for someone to dunk on and destroy to the delight of a thousand eager eyes. It’s a karmic wheel that every individual will have their turn to be broken upon. And no matter how much of a dogshit site it has become, it’s still a lot of fun to be on.
Julian Edelman, the MVP of the New England Patriots jumped into one of my threads to tell us that he’s Jewish enough to have been killed in the Holocaust.
How could I ever *actually* quit Twitter?
Despite that, there are issues here that need to be addressed. I frequently joked that I was the Otto Weininger of the Extremely Online. The most recent time out that Jack’s painted catamites decided to give me has allowed me time to reflect on how much time I wasted on Twitter, being one of the more self-aware culprits of how the dopamine trap of the site seeps into the crevices of the brain and poisons you through your entire body. I felt *good* being off Twitter. I was productive, I was getting other things done that I had been struggling to get done. It’s like exercise where you mentally know that if you do these things you’ll be better off and healthier, but until you’re *actually* doing them it really serves as nothing other than a constant mental exercise of the things you know you should be doing.
The problem is though, as I said, you cannot ignore Twitter, that is if you have any role in creating content and delivering it to people. I have friends who have completely checked out of this thing, they’ve hung up the mantle of Online Racist, even turned in their letter of resignation to the CEO of Racism, who ask me when I’ll have a new Twitter account because at the end of the day, we all need content and heaven knows that mainstream culture isn’t doing anything except try to kill us. So, I’ll be back on Twitter. Always have, always will be.
What remains is finding a way to manage that. To only poison yourself slightly enough, to keep you moving through the day. To avoid the three AM notification pulls waiting for something new and interesting to pop up (nothing will). To avoid the amount of time one ends up thinking about what you’re missing on Twitter (there’s nothing). To avoid letting it consume your life (it will).
So I’ll be on Twitter. And I’ll be here, writing informally and producing more content in order to improve my writing because long breaks I take from doing it have turned me into a rusty crank. The goal is for there to be three posts a week. Monday-Wednesday-Friday. About what? Probably the same kind of stuff I tweet about, just in long form.
Some of the things I may start trying to move over here are the book reports. People have desperately missed those. Worst case scenario you’ll get a post where I try to express in some creative way my crybaby feelings. Pray we don’t reach that point. It also serves as a place to stay up to date once I’m inevitably spirited away for the umpteenth time off the platform of the free speech wing of the Free Speech Party.
The only way I can think of to avoid the pit of dopamine and despair that one gets at staring at a little screen waiting for something funny or interesting to occur is to work harder on a larger screen for less instantaneous dopamine.
It’s not much, but it’s a start, I guess?