Twitter is eating away at me in ways I never thought possible. This is why I have to leave the pseudonyms and this blog.
To me, Twitter is almost to me what the Secret Service was to John Nash in A Beautiful Mind. A beautiful and soul-eating obsession. If you have not seen the film, Nash was fed by a small piece of praise from the secret service, but then blew it up into full blown obsession. He threw himself into coding every newspaper and magazine story imaginable, believing that he was doing vital work to help the Government.
This is what Twitter did to me, to an extent. I played a minor role on Twitter, providing bits of news and information about the outer west of Sydney, writing blog posts for enthusiastic amateur political sites , even the occasional Guardian piece. This, however, fed my ego and I blew it up to believe that I was doing vital work, speaking for the outer west, providing vital info to be tweeted out to the people who followed me. (On that note, I sincerely hope that this blog gets as many views as my posts about classical music. The largely read posts fed my ego far too much. The numbers that read my thoughts on classical music confirmed how obscure I am in real life.)
This is not to say that I was making up fake agents and completely neglecting my real life and family to serve the Mighty Twitter Purpose. But it has occurred to me that I was getting dangerously close at times. I know I am not the only one in this category – think of the poor whacky ibises, vuvuzelas and megaphones, who will never come to the realisation that all their vital “work” actually means nothing. This is the realisation I have come to. That all my delusions are just that. People really won’t miss my contributions, and will get their info from other people on Twitter.
The other thing eating away at me right now are the memories of the connections, the fights, the problems, the harassment, the hypocrisies. I see friends on Twitter following, referring to and RTing people who I can’t stand – people who have targeted, harassed, bullied me and others. I see yet others suddenly RTing and buddying up to people they previous moaned about on DM. It’s revolting and fake. There are, of course, many exceptions to this – but it’s really pointless to object when you see it happening. After all, people can use Twitter however they like. I don’t have to like it – and it does eat away at me and that’s where it should stop. One day, it won’t matter to me at all.
There was a time some time ago when I mused on quitting this pseudonym life and I was deluded enough to be think of Turlough’s comments during the regeneration of Doctor Who from No. 5 to No. 6 – that “my many enemies would delight in my death”. (BTW, this is still my favourite regeneration scene, largely because of Colin Baker’s first lines). This was the time when I did have a number of people who hated me for what I was tweeting and writing about. Yes, I was that deluded.
Those people probably still do hate me. But my departure from Twitter as Preston and Capper Towers won’t change anything for the news you get and the comments floating around. Besides, what changes in news? Nothing much. What changes in politics? Nothing much. I can still gather news via a news gathering account. And what I have discovered on the sport account is the same cycle of bullying, harassment and moronic banter I hated at school and have hated on Twitter. I probably should not have expected anything else.
There are people who will miss me, but there are people in that category who would not like to hear what I really think of the hypocrisy and facades being put up every day. The reactions to my Sydney Push piece told me that what I write has its consequences. And I can see some on that list hurtling towards becoming the Wendy Bacon and Elizabeth Farrelly of the future, ranting about the Others destructing their insular, comfortable inner city lifestyles. Indeed, loads of people on Sydney Twitter are doing that already. So one day their house will easily be haunt. But this post isn’t about them. The reactions to that post amused me because it fell into what I already knew about Sydney – it surges and falls on Who is Who. It also amused me because by naming them, it made me suddenly important – which confirmed for me that this time around, unlike when I was at uni, I didn’t want any of that affirmation.
What will change? I will get some piece of mind. I probably need to go back to trying to just enjoy it, but I can’t see that happening with all the baggage I bring each time I log on.
But as I am addicted, I will probably come back, like the hopeless addict I am. And it will continue to eat away at me.