By the end of today, I will have deactivated my Twitter account, not because I have had any negative personal experiences as a result of my tweets over the years. On the contrary, I have developed many positive, supportive and amusing connections and I have benefited from a lot of good thoughts on my various writing efforts. The banter has been fun. I have made friends (many of whom I will never meet face to face). I have reconnected with long lost contacts and I have exchanged many a pleasantry with actual friends. All of that has been great.
I have used Twitter to promote my work, to participate in discussions, to share the odd joke and quotation here and there, to offer my own brand of wisdom (whizz dumb?), to rant, to talk bollocks and to salute my many western heroes/movies along the rocky trail. In addition, via links to my blog, I hope I have helped and encouraged Northern Ireland's talent pool along the way having had the pleasure and privilege of reading splendid books and listening to wonderful CDs, and posting reviews.
But, I am just tired of the mish-mash that makes up this thing called Twitter. I have enjoyed and learned from the many upbeat messages about writing and writers, music and musicians and all layers and levels of the creative arts. I appreciate and am grateful for the supportive messages about my own work from tweeters. It means a lot.
However, I have loathed the general bickering, the insults, the bile, the hatred that spews out about individuals, communities and organisations. There is more than a kangaroo court element to social media and it disgusts me. Twitter is used by manipulators to spread nastiness and vulgarity, and I can do without all the obnoxiousness.
If only there was the option to choose a Twitter route after signing in: this way for all the good, positive, creative stuff or this way for all the shit. All the campaigns, grandstanding, warnings, advice, celebrity claptrap, bandwagons, self-appointed gurus, lifestyles, do-gooders, guardians of us all, soothsayers, miseries - all of it unnecessary baggage to drag along day after day after day.
Besides, Twitter is a distraction and I have a number of writing ideas floating around this skull of mine and I want to use the time I save reading avalanches of messages, most of which are irrelevant, to develop as a writer and for that to happen I need to concentrate. I have ambitions for 2018 and I'd like to achieve at least some of them.
There are some tweeters that I will miss a lot.
If anyone has a mind to keep in touch for all the good reasons either leave a message in the comments section at the bottom of this post or connect on Facebook where I will be from time to time mainly to stay tuned to family stuff and to share where I am up to with my scribbles.
I might return to the fray sometime in the future but, then again, this could well be it.
Never too far away from a western reference, I leave you with this. I can't remember where I heard it but it makes sense to me::
"Never miss a good chance to shut up"