do not go gently
Hello! Ahem. Mm. This is awkward.
Now that The Twitter Buying has gone through and a certain person is now in charge that has terrible taste in memes and also politics, I have to delete my Twitter account. That I’ve had for fifteen and a half years. I am going to miss its particular way of bringing me bite sizes of news, near-immediate notification of daily mass shootings (I’m not actually kidding), live captures of racism, and — most of all — I will miss how fucking stressed out it has made me.
If I told you why it’s been so important to me that I keep being there and keep showing up, it’s going to sound ridiculous, so I’ll keep that to myself. But please know that I showed up on purpose. I wanted to be there for myself. I wanted to be there for the culture, for the holes cut in my reality so I could see someone else’s. I wanted to be distraught, wordless, angry, weeping alongside you. I wanted to be happy when we were all happy. I wanted to give to every fundraiser I saw, I wanted to heal every wound, I wished for the ability to fix all that was wrong. But I can’t do that. What I could do, though, was witness it. So that someone was there and you weren’t alone.
I was never perfect, but I did my best.
I know I’ve got an interestingly different kind of family structure than usual, and it’s been fun to write about it, but one of the most valuable things for us, individually and as a family unit, is that we have two security specialists in the house. One is the person I’m married to, who is in a current security position and has in the past done [redacted] for [redacted] because of or on behalf of [redacted]. (I don’t know what’s in the redacted bits either, and I’ve asked.) The other is someone that spends multiple hours a day researching and collating data so that we can be as safe as a family of queer disabled socialist pagan weirdos can be. And we collectively made a decision that we will no longer have individual accounts at twitter dot com.
So I’ve been making lists and reaching out to people and finding some of you at Discord, at Mastodon, at your websites, at your links pages. As I scroll through my timeline, I realize that there is a small group of people that bring me joy each day I log on, and those are the people I want to try to stay connected to.
Losing my Twitter account will mean losing some of my voice, for a time.
I’m so used to the way I’ve learned to use social media from Twitter, Facebook, and all the older versions of things from back in the day, that I have had an initial horrified response of despair. How would I ever be connected again? How could I find all my people again? Will I be cut off now indefinitely? Is this the end of it?
… and then, I realized that it’s just a frame of reference. It’s not reality, or it is, depending on how you look at it, but that’s the trick anyway. It is a way of connecting, of communicating, of sharing information. It is not the only way.
I did join Mastodon (again, and I am embarrassed to reveal that I think I had three or four existing accounts on various servers), I’m on Discord, I still have email, I still have this publishing platform, and even though I barely use it — I do have Facebook, and I kind of hate that I always make sure I have Facebook Messenger installed on any phone I use. It isn’t impossible to find me. It might be a little too easy to find me, but after years of taking that risk I’m not going to try and scrub myself from the internet.
Momentarily, I need to be creepy —trust me when I say menacingly that if I *do* need to disappear, you will never find me. Okay. Done with being creepy.
I’m just leaving Twitter.
My friends, my enemies, those of you that made me laugh and shared great memes and wrote hilarious threads about rice, those of you that posted live video of Ferguson right after Michael Brown was murdered, those of you that I tried to learn from, those of you I wanted to slap, those of you I followed to other places too — I mostly love all of you. I will miss you. And I will figure out a new shape for the Twitter-sized hole in my heart.
But seriously, I’m still here and you’re still here and I think that matters. And if you know there’s someone who’s going to worry when they can’t find me, send them my way.