inessential by Brent Simmons

Not Back on Twitter

When the new Star Wars movie came out, I decided to take a break from Twitter so I could avoid spoilers. I mostly kept away (but for a few small hits).

I finally saw the movie (which I enjoyed) this past weekend, and so I came back to Twitter.

Now, a few hours later, I’m off Twitter again. I didn’t like being back.

* * *

This past year was very bad — see In the Room — and 2016 will be bad for the same reason.

And I turn 48 in a couple months. And I have a whole lot of work I want to do and not necessarily enough time to do it all.

(Note: my personal health is good. I don’t want to give the wrong idea here.)

Here’s what I found: being off Twitter, that squeaky treadmill, gave me back some time, and it made me happier and calmer than I would have been.

(It’s hard to measure, because of everything going on, but I believe it, and that’s what matters.)

I know full well that I have a responsibility, as a writer and maker of things, to be accessible, and I take that seriously.

But I also have a responsibility to myself, and to people close to me, to be happy. I do everything better when I’m happy — including helping other people.

It’s a trade-off, but I have to care for my own happiness.

* * *

Which means I’m back to ignoring Twitter.

I’m not deleting my account, but I’ve turned off all notifications and uninstalled the app from all computers and devices. I just won’t be looking.

If you need to reach me: take my Twitter handle and assume that I use Apple’s email service. Old-fashioned, yes, but it works.

* * *

The happiest I’ve ever been in front of a computer was when I was 14 at my Apple II Plus, with headphones on, working on my little BASIC apps. No network and no distractions. Simple and quiet.

While I love the web, I don’t love those corners that insist on my attention. I don’t have to accept it. I just want to make things.