Way back in the early days of this blog, when I chiseled my thoughts into a stone tablet and handed them to a young man in a toga to run to the server, only for him to drop dead upon arrival from the effort, I asked this question:
The answers came down to the cat plurked on the carpet and go learn something new instead.
Well, the cat did indeed plurk on the carpet at some point yesterday and we didn’t notice. Shout out to the vast array of enzymatic cleaners on the market today. As for learning? Yeah, I learned things on Twitter the 15 (!) years I was on there.
I learned there is a desperate thirst for knowledge, recognition, and support from parents of gifted and twice-exceptional kids.
I learned how to use my voice and my writing to advocate for those parents.
I learned how to get my point across in 140, then 280, characters. Sometimes brevity really is better. Color me surprised.
I learned that people don’t need to live in the same time zone to become some of the best friends I’ve ever had.
And despite all that, I left Twitter in November.
Other than the weekly #gtchat, which I still have in my calendar because I can’t bear to delete it, I don’t miss Twitter in the slightest. Whenever I went onto the site I ended up doomscrolling and would leave feeling far worse about life and the future. Musk buying the company set off internal alarms, and when he reinstated banned accounts such as the previous President’s it was time to go. I originally deactivated my account and then read somewhere that after time, deactivated account names can be reused. And oh hell no was I going to allow Laughing at Chaos be used by anyone other than me. I’m not even that active anywhere with that name but by god it’s mine. So my account is still there, frozen in time, peace out.
But what about Facebook? It also reinstated the Orange Menace, and is even worse than Twitter when it comes to heinous groups and activities. That one is a little trickier. I wasn’t on Twitter much but I’ve long been more active on Facebook. I used to love it, getting to see what friends were doing with their lives and sharing my life with them. Now it’s mostly ads and stuff I really do not care about. At this point I’m just on the site because of a couple groups (one of which I co-admin), a few entertaining meme pages, and long-running messenger conversations. It’s a matter of time before I give it up entirely, though I’ll keep my page and the Laughing at Chaos page alive for the same reason I’m keeping my Twitter profile on life support.
I did create a Mastodon account and so far I really like it. Because it’s decentralized it’s easier to moderate and the instance I’m on “… aims to be a friendly, non-topic specific community focused on spreading positivity, expanding your knowledge and experiences, and just being plain old happy on social media for once.” Perfect for me. I’m following a lot of writers there, a lot of writing hashtags, and the pull to write is stronger than I’ve felt in years. No doomscrolling, no algorithm feeding me crap it thinks I want to see, no ads. It’s actually pleasant.
This is a birthday that ends in zero year, and I’m taking stock and reevaluating a lot of things in my life. Who am I at my core? Where do I want to put my time and energy? What do I want my third act to be? And I’m pulling back from things that don’t align with the answers to those questions.
So buh-bye, birdie. See ya, book of the face (at some point). Hello, toots.
And hello again to writing. I’ve missed you.