This is joy, this is summer

I deleted my Twitter.

Like, some time ago.

“Why would you do that, River?” asked no one in particular.

Well, I’m glad you asked! It’s because I got it way, way, way back in high school. When it was kind of an underground site that nobody really used. When I only had a flip phone and had to text my tweets to 40404 in order to share any of the stupid shit in my barely matured brain.

The thing is, none of that content is worth any real merit. I just used it as a means to lash out against authority and fuel unwarranted angst. I tweeted entire albums worth of lyrics until about 3 in the morning. I tweeted self-deprecating thoughts, in an effort to give off a kind of awareness for my inadequacy. That ended up being more damaging than at all helpful, though it was #relatable.

I wasted a lot of time with Twitter. I wasted a lot of time speaking to a void, because nobody in high school used it in the same intensive capacity as me. Thus, nothing I ever had to say was really acknowledged. So, yeah. It was a void. It was an electronic journal of sorts, for me to just spew out inconsequential opinions that, like I said, no longer have merit.

Moving into college, Twitter changed for me. People were actually using it. People were actually interacting with these short bursts of content that everyone was sharing. I had an audience.

That’s hard to find, sometimes. To feel like you have a voice and that people actually want to hear what you have to say. That’s definitely something I struggled with for a majority of my time spent in academia. People can be very vocal about how they feel about things. I’ve never been that kind of person, so being able to tweet my thoughts and receive acknowledgment for that was nice.

That acknowledgment grew to be toxic for me.

Let me veer off the track a little here. Growing up in today’s public school system, my generation got a little fucked up. We were taught that numbers were the means in order to rate how successful we were. Getting a higher score on the SAT said something about your place in life. We were given the impression that numbers would unlock doors that otherwise weren’t there.

Numbers are toxic. We rate each other on a scale and that’s what is wrong with social media. I built up this idea that if my newfound, college audience wasn’t liking or retweeting what I had to say, that I was somehow lesser. I was obsessive to the point that I was basing my own worth on a number system for something that truly had no point.

It had no point.

Numbers have no point. That’s one reason why I deleted Twitter. I didn’t like how it made me feel. It was once cathartic and then, it just wasn’t. And I realized that catharsis was self-made. It was a game I’d made in my own head.

Besides the numbers game, I also just wasn’t using the 140-character limit to share the healthiest of content. I abused it, oftentimes, for pointed, passive-aggressive attacks against others. I wanted to hurt people. Right now, I can’t really remember the kinds of things I said, but I know that if anyone caught on to what I was doing, it probably wasn’t the best example of my character. Scrolling through it all, it was very clear that my mental health wasn’t necessarily in check.

So, that was the other reason… and I deleted it.

I reset, more like.

A blank slate.

And now I’m back, approximately eight months later, I think?

Nobody panic. I’m not going to be playing those games this time around. This time, I’m viewing it as more of a creative enterprise. The things that people can write in 140 characters can be truly brilliant. From funny to truly inspiring, I just wanted to be able to share in that part of it again. Creating content for people that is #relatable or just straight up stupid… Mostly my content will probably be stupid.

Also, the numbers game is inconsequential. If you have something to say, just say it. If you’re worried that not having virtual hearts, or likes, attached to it is going to somehow invalidate you, maybe it’s not right for you.

That’s actually a lesson I’ve been taking into life now. I’m trying to be more unapologetic about what I have to say. That’s the third reason I deleted Twitter. I wanted to be able to share my thoughts and feelings in the real world. I didn’t want to calculate or judge what I felt before I said it.

With social media, we’re given the opportunity to give and retract statements. You can delete something almost as you post it, realize it’s actually uninspired trash, and immediately delete it. There are no repercussions. Hell, the amount I’ve gone back through this post to edit anything I had to say is almost absurd. If I was spewing all this off the cuff, I couldn’t do that. There’s no way to hide.

Life gets a little messy sometimes. Talking to people can get horribly awkward, but you can move past it. There’s no reason to berate yourself for not being as clear as you wanted to. The number of times I leave conversation wanting to smack myself for something stupid I said, how I fumbled with my words, or that incredibly awkward gesture I did is absurd. I’m almost certain more often than not, nobody’s really judging me for them. I’m the only one judging.

Frankly, I’m a happier person these days. I’m here to share that with you. So, all of the above was that. Me just sharing some perspective. It went on way longer than I thought it would, but I guess that means I can’t really knock myself down for not having opinions.

I’m starting this blog for that reason. Expect material along the lines of all of the above. Just reflections, mostly. That’s typically what I write. When it comes to writing, I do it just to do it. There’s not really any point to it, other than to get something off my chest or to just work out a problem I’m witnessing. If other people reading this take something from it, that’s fine. I do a lot of journaling, so maybe that’ll work its way onto here. I just kind of wanted to bring my own introspection out a little more and this is my way of doing that… through the Interwebz.

I promise not to make this an angst ridden kinda thing. I’m trying to grow past pessimism these days. I’m also gonna try to post at least once a week. We’ll see how well that works for me. Anyways, I’ve written more than enough here for at least two posts, so I need to calm down.

Until next time, mes amis.

“Abjectified: Skunk Works” by Martin Kalanda