Why I'm Not Living on Twitter Anymore
Today, I made the decision to make my Twitter account "updates only." This means that I will retain the account when I'm sharing updates about my books, but I'm not going to commit myself to the level of Twitter that I had been trying to. More and more, I'm seeing authors make this call. I can't speak for them, but here's why I made that choice:
1) Put simply, I don't want to live there. Twitter is amazing in that it connects so many people from around the world. But also...it connects you to so many people from all around the world. As a dyed in the wool introvert, this frankly terrifies me. I've talked about this a lot on my podcast, but I am not what you'd call neurotypical. Other than my anxiety and PTSD, I don't really know how. I have some
traits of ADD. I have some traits of OCD. There might even be a few others. What it comes down to is, I have pretty nonstop intrusive thoughts. These worsen when I obsess over social interactions--which I do every day. When I thought about the number of people I might connect with in one day (at the grocery store, at my workplace, etc.) the number does not come anywhere close to the number of people who could have access to my tweets. When I realized how much more strain this was putting on me, and how many MORE interactions I was obsessing over, I realized it was time to step back.
2) I don't feel safe on Twitter, in large part because its functionality makes it easier to be cruel. Ever notice how, even thought you can find hate on sites like Instagram, it's not quite as common? This is, in part, because it's hard to repost. There's no QT's or sub-tweets. Also, any comments are hidden in the noise of every other comment below a picture or video. I'm definitely not saying Instagram is less problematic than Twitter. Zuckerberg alone makes this impossible. But it's functionality limits that somewhat. The sad truth is that it's more "fun" to be mean on Twitter.
I do want to make one thing clear. I have seen many reasonable call-outs, critiques and important conversations happen on Twitter. What I have issue with is everything that comes after that critique. Without going into to much detail about my PTSD diagnosis, seeing a pile-on is extraordinarily triggering for me. It immediately forces me to re-live some very painful incidents. This doesn't mean those conversations aren't necessary, only that there is a fundamental incompatibility when it comes to me and this platform.
3) I cannot be there for every catastrophe. These days, it feels like I log onto Twitter and I'm always five minutes late for the latest horrible thing. So, because I obsess over social interactions for days, nearly every time I log onto Twitter I'm flooded with both guilt and regret. Literally the only time I don't feel this way is when I'm reading or interacting with tweets from Owl at the Library, Rapunzel's Tangled Adventure (the series fan account), Jorts, or Neil Gaiman. It does not make me do a fun little Jefferson "what'd I miss?" dance. It makes me so worried that I forget doctor's appointments.
4) I don't have time. Depending on who you are, you'll either think this is 1) the only reason I needed to list in the first place, or 2) a total cop-out. But, it's true. I am a mom with two jobs and I don't have time to be on Twitter all the time. Lately, it feels like if you can't be on Twitter all the time, you shouldn't be, and I'm very happily bowing out. Because, and here's the most important thing: it's getting in the way of my writing. When I'm on Twitter all the time, either that or caring for myself flies out the window. And I really can't let that second thing fly out the window if I want to be alive for a career in the first. The truth is, for most authors, being present on social media all the time doesn't move the needle at all. Not a bit. Some, with 100K+ followers, may get more bang for their buck. But, with two thousand? Nah. It's not worth it-especially if it keeps me from writing (you know, the thing I'm paid for?)
Well, that's it from me. I'm writing this not as an elaborate announcement (because most people won't notice). I'm writing this because I don't want writers to feel like they need to live on Twitter if they don't want to. And I sure don't want authors to feel alone.
In the meantime, I'll still be updating on the Write Where it Hurts account and with big news on my author account. In the meantime, contact me by Instagram under @Katrynwrites, by email, or by contact form here.