in Stuff I learned

Why I’m starting to hate Twitter (but not really)

This is something I wrote in summer of 2013 on Medium but I figured since I started this blog I didn’t have a real great use for Medium anymore. This still applies, by the way.

This is not a post about the pitfalls of Twitter or why it’s spammy underbelly is slowly stealing the will of people to go on living.

Nor is it a post about how I don’t get Twitter or a complaint about how all my friends do is post silly photos of their hoity-toity ALL NATURAL hamburgers and $6 Dove chocolate milkshakes.

No, quite the opposite actually. Twitter is why I have my job. Twitter has changed the way I consume news and think about the world.

Twitter, as simply beautiful as it is, has killed Facebook for me (I no longer have to figure out whether or not I have to sell my pigs to get coins so I can send messages to people — GLORY!)

I’m starting to hate Twitter because it has become my main event online.

I used to get on my computer and write and think and write some more and maybe pick up a book or photoshop a picture for a blog post. If I wasn’t productive I was at least moving forward.

I wasn’t toiling circularly.

Now though, I have succombed to the scrolling feed. It consumes me. I don’t mean that it consumes me in a way that takes me away from my wife and kid (that’s probably a separate post which I will write and my wife will dictate to me at gunpoint), just that it soaks up all my time set aside for work to the point that I no longer know what it feels like to get lost in a great album and a lengthy blog post.

That’s why we do this thing in the first place, isn’t it? I mean besides all the fame and fortunes that come with sports blogging, obviously. Don’t we get online and write and think because, somewhere and in some way, it changes who we are and who we want to become.

I don’t know what that feels like anymore because all I do is spend my days letting other people (the people I “follow” is what Twitter calls them) tell me what I think and who I should be.

There is a sweet spot that evens the scales, I know there is. There has to be. But I am nowhere near it — I am closer to defeating Usain Bolt in the 200 meter dash than I am to finding a balance between work and Twitter.

There are times (yesterday’s Aaron Hernandez murder news was one) when we’re supposed to be riveted as a Twitter community. I didn’t feel bad about being locked in at all. But the incessant and mindless scrolling of my feed to find out that Alex Rodriguez is not as intelligent as we thought or that President Obama will be speaking for 14 minutes in wherever, USA. It has to stop.

The problem is, and I’m sure you’ll agree, that to be a good blogger and to find the Aaron Hernandez moments, you kind of have to have it on all the time. There is the idea that you can take a two-hour break and come back to find out what you missed. But two hours on the Internet in 2013 might as well be two years.

So I’m at a loss (if you have any thoughts on this post I guess, uh, tweet at me).

So as you can tell I don’t actually hate Twitter but I do plan on turning Twitter off more in the future if only so I’m reminded of why I once fell in love with her in the first place. But I don’t know what the happy medium (NOT A PAID ADVERTISEMENT) is.

I plan on reclaiming my own thoughts and reinvigorating some original ideas. I plan on being changed less and changing more.

I plan on reading 140 pages of a book instead of 140 characters of a tweet.

I plan on digging up some super-hipster albums on Spotify (I have to find someone who’ll teach me which ones are “super-hipster” and which are just “uhh, that’s weird, bro” first, I guess) and getting lost in some work.

Because, like I said, that’s the point.