Hashtag Happier

I’m not leaving Twitter but I’m not doing Twitter the way I’ve been doing Twitter because I don’t want to hate everyone in the world all the time so I am doing something else instead.

2018 is 2018 and it is not always easy. The world is doing some weird, stressful and horrible shit and that is reflected in the digital realm.

I need more of this:

And less of this:

This is what I’m not getting into any more.

I’m basically a placid person. I’m a little bit introverted — well, YES, of course, I make up universes in an attic for a living rather than chaining myself to trees in the Amazon to stop illegal logging from tearing the lungs out of the planet — and I was raised to believe that offending someone was one of the worst things you could do in a day.

Twitter in 2018 is maybe not the ideal environment for me. On Twitter, I am occasionally intemperate, often profane. I get in fights and sometimes I’m wrong and sometimes I’m right but just not the person I want to be. There is so much stupid on Twitter. Clever people respond without thought and people with prejudices they should be ashamed of feel the urge to get conceptually naked and moon society with their unpleasant and unwanted ideational arse pics and I AM DOING THE THING THAT I HATE IN MYSELF RIGHT NOW JUST DESCRIBING IT.

I’m a novelist. I can do scorn and disdain in 280 characters like you wouldn’t believe, and sometimes I do. Sometimes I’m so angry I get as numb-tongued as everyone else and neither of those things works for me any more.

I’m also not leaving. I don’t want to and I can’t. Don’t want to because Twitter is also a river of amazingness and people I would otherwise not get the chance to interact with; can’t because I’m a novelist and social media is a thing that we do now, and I’m reasonably good at it, and my publishers would be sad and I would not get some of the invitations I get now to go and do amazing things. Twitter is visibility and visibility is part of my trade.

But Twitter can make me feel like this:

Look! I am the sad one in a particularly nihilistic Twilight fanfic photostory! YAY oh wait…

I am absolutely various kinds of arsehole. This is a known issue with humans, and with writers, and with me personally. It is a thing. But I am not that arsehole. I was born here:

Name the century… (HINT: it was taken a couple of months ago.)

Urban digital rage Harkaway is just not one of the kinds of arseholes that I am. Or rather, he isn’t now because I’m just not doing it any more.

So here is what I’m doing instead. I am going to try to put out one thing at least every morning that is a bit deeper and more considered than your average tweet. It will probably need a bit longer than you’d usually spend, but it will be worth it. Even if you glance at it, file under “read later” and come back to it in a month, that won’t matter. It’ll still be something with that slow, deep current of the real that can be a balm, or a refuge, or the beginning of the flow state.

The first three things I’ve done while I try to find my feet have been:

Don’t Be A Sucker

Umberto Eco

and the amazing J L Borges.

I’m obviously going to cast the net wider, but this is what I had right in front of me when I decided to do this.

I’m tagging it #hashtaghappier because it’s catchier than #hashtagStuffThatIsABitMoreThinkyThanMostOfTheStuffAroundIt and the other good hashtags I could think of were all already in use.

I am not that angry murder basement guy. I am this guy, and that is how I’m going to stay. I am going to sit on the digital beach.

And I would like you to come and sit on the beach too, if you want to.