I have deactivated my twitter account. Again. The first time I did it, I thought I was deleting it, but then I managed to get it back, so I think it just sits in there waiting for me to change my mind. Again.
This isn’t some ‘the interwebs its all wack and woon’. For what it’s worth, I think you can spend a lot of time on the internet and still get your novel written; that you can be a switched on mother and tweet; and you can choose to tweet over choosing to do something else because tweeting is, for one reason or another, better for you than whatever else it is you were going to do.
I think twitter is fun, and I get its appeal.
For other people.
It’s just not for me.
Firstly, it’s the time thing. Not so much that it takes time away from other things. More that other things leave me with little online presence time these days and without putting in the time, twitter really is no fun.
I feel like I’ve always just missed something. Like I’m at a party, and I go into the kitchen, just when the action has moved to the hall, and I get to the hall only to find that everyone is on the patio. And so on. This is exacerbated by the time difference for me…by the time I get home, most people I know are either off to bed or not up yet. I log on and spend half an hour reading about what just happened in other people’s days, but never quite being able to get the thread.
Which leads me to the rather pathetic and tragic part of my story. The cool kids. When I’m on twitter, I feel like it’s full of cool kids, and I’m not one.
Now, I’m not saying that this is the case, that it really is cool kids and others. I’m not bagging twitter or the many brilliant twitterers around. Like I say, I get twitter’s appeal, I reckon it’s fun, and I in no way attribute the end of the world to twitter (not when we’ve got Tony Abbott running around in his budgie smugglers doing a better job of ending the world).
It’s just I’ve never, ever felt that way with blogging – and that’s not because I am one of the cool kids, that’s because I’m forty years old and I long ago gave up caring about shit like that. Didn’t I? I don’t know what the difference is, but with blogging, I’ve never felt, ‘what about me?’ On twitter, I was starting to feel that way and honestly? If you are forty years old and you’re worrying about shit like that, then there’s something going on, and you need to do something about it. Because that’s what’s good about being forty. You’re not twenty. And you’re certainly not sixteen.
For a while, when I realised I was getting weird about twitter, I decided to use it differently. I think probably the more you tailor it, concentrating on food tweets or writing tweets or knitting tweets, the better it is. So I tried that. I tried to use it as my source of news, following every news source and NGO and media outlet I could find. I did find out stuff, but then I realised my collection of news and facts and information was no less random than it was before. I was better off checking out The New Yorker website once a week than following the link to the article that someone else was telling me I should read. Sure, I found out about the crack in the aquarium at the Dubai Mall pretty much straight away. But actually, I already knew about it, because my friend’s husband had just phoned her.
Besides, I’ve only got so much to say, and I’m not sure I’ve got enough for twitter and facebook and my blog (and not to forget I need to save some things for any fiction or essays or memoir that I might one day write). There are different people in each of those forums, that’s true, and I am endlessly fascinating, what with the gold-dispensing ATMs and the many different ways I have to gripe about the sand and the heat, but all the same, I do hear myself get a bit repetitive. Like I’m the person at the dinner party retelling the same story she told at brunch last week and at coffee the week before.
I could have let it go dormant, just sit there gathering dust. But then it sits in the back of my mind saying, ‘You should oughtta be doing something about me.’ So, it’s better to deactivate it. It would be even better to delete it. If I thought that was in any way possible.