At the bus stop this morning, I posted a few tweets to Twitter about a messed up traffic intersection. I was snarky and I wasn’t particularly kind.
It caused me stress. It caused me stress to have Twitter on my phone again. It caused me stress to have those posts up there at all—would people reply? What if someone replied and was mean?
Later, it caused me stress when people didn’t reply, or fave, or retweet my perfect tweets. Why didn’t the Mayor send me a direct message telling me that not only would he fix it, but that we should totally hang out and be best friends?
The fall break after I graduated from high school I went back to see some friends in the school play. I was sitting on a bench outside the auditorium and a senior I used to do colorguard with came up to me very, very stressed out. For some reason I never found out, she needed the bench I was on to move immediately. It needed to be in that hallway over there or the play would be unprofessional and ruined. It was very important. So, of course, I moved it.
It struck me how much she cared about her thing and I didn’t care about it at all. I remembered caring that intensely about stuff in high school and I was surprised that how, just half a year removed, not only did I not care about high school stuff, but I didn’t think I would ever care that hard, that intensely, about things ever again.1
Twitter feels like high school. I want my tweets to be important. I want them to change the world the way a highschooler wants their production of Fiddler on the Roof to change the world. It’s three lines of text. It’s a video. It’s a picture. It’s a musical in a school auditorium. Sure, it could change the world, but it probably won’t. People who care about tweets care about them so hard and I feel myself wanting to be one of them.
But, the more I’m away from Twitter, the more I realize it’s a thing that I don’t need to care about. I could post more posts about bad intersections, but I’d probably feel way better if I just went to a public meeting. I don’t need Twitter drama. I don’t need that false hope of internet fame. I can spend my time doing other things and it’ll be not only OK, but better.
I deleted the tweets.
I was wrong. I found new things to care intensely about like my family, but I never sweated the small stuff like I did when I was a teenager. No one cares about anything as hard as a teenager cares about their thing. ↩︎