When you quit all social media, life can get lonely.
What do you do?
a) get used to being lonely
b) go back, albeit with a plan
I have chosen the second one.
It’s Like An Echo Chamber of One
After a very lengthy absence, I decided to get back onto Twitter.
While it still is a bastion for alt-right hate mongers and our Cheetos Colored Dumpster Fire’s daily exercise in lying to the American people, I found that after I left Facebook (on August 17, 2017 to be exact), and with the eminent demise of Google Plus (a GREAT place to hang out and discuss RPG’s), I was feeling a bit out of the loop.
I have forums for Star Trek, Call of C’thulhu, James Bond, Monster Movies, and my other interests, but that narrow focus and multiple stops on the internet train can be bothersome at best, and annoying at worst.
It’s difficult to sometimes find balance when you crave interaction with those who are interested in what you are interested in, yet don’t want to be put on overwhelm every time you enter the room.
I would NEVER go back to Facebook. Tumblr is a ghost town. As mentioned above, the wonderful Google+ is getting ready to be dumped into the dust bin of internet history, Reddit is okay, but the good and helpful seem to be outweighed by the snarky and sarcastic.
Which left Twitter.
So I decided it was time to dip my toe back into Twitter waters, being mindful to look out for sharks and such.
They Keep Pulling Me Back In
It wasn’t an easy decision.
I remember the time that I quit Twitter – I was walking through a mall parking lot and was trying to come up with a pithy, smart, snarky something – in 140 characters or less – to post about my shopping trip. I was actually thinking in Tweets, for lack of a better word.
Yeah. That had to stop.
In retrospect those early years on Twitter were the best.
You could actually have a conversation with people, go back and forth, maybe disagree about some small minutiae, but still respect each other and go about your business.
But then folks with hate in their heart discovered just how powerful a tool social media can become, and before you could say Bob’s Your Uncle, we have alt-right, Gamergaters, actual Nazi’s and other knuckleheads – including Russian knuckleheads – all over the place and the small town square feeling had become more of a screaming Klan rally.
The Rules of the Social Media Road
I decided that if I were going to do this, there were going to have to be some rules or guidelines in place for myself just to keep my sanity.
1) Keep a low number of followers. One thing that I didn’t like was the high number of people I followed just to be polite. I was a follower backer. Not this time. The endless scroll of things I don’t care about is over with. I choose very carefully those I follow, and even then, they are on Double Secret Probation, and I may unfollow them at any minute. Luckily those that I follow have followers in the thousands, so they will never know if I leave by the back door.
2) Turn off retweets. Man, this is one of the best things that Twitter ever did. Just because I like person A’s content, doesn’t mean that I want to see everything that person A is into. This keeps the signal to noise ratio down to a comfortable level. I can also check once, maybe three times a day, and not be inundated with stuff.
3) Post what I like, the numbers be damned. Back in the day, and maybe even a little bit today, I loved being popular. I loved getting likes, and retweets, and followers and such, and I basked in what I considered to be their adoration. Guess what? I was gone for years, and I am sure that no one noticed. How’s THAT for adoration? These days, if I find something funny, I’ll post it, just because I like it, not because I’m chasing imaginary internet numbers.
It’s Been Real and It’s Been Fun. So Far.
I’ve been back on Twitter since October 23, 2018. I’ve tweeted a little over 70 times. That number is kind of inflated because I got all riled up over the election and after the election, and had to go give myself a time out after all the shenanigans. It’s tough being a liberal out there. I unfollowed about 25 political accounts, and I’m back to talking about Star Trek, James Bond, Role Playing games, and other nerdy stuff that strikes my fancy.
If you are so inclined, please come give me a look and a read.
Follow, don’t follow, it’s all good.
Thanks for being in my life,