Falling Out of Love with Twitter Maude Apatow

I used to write more, before I got addicted to technology. I was going through my old journals from elementary school, pre-cell phone, and saw that I wrote so many short stories and poems. The excuse I tell myself is that I don’t have time, but that isn’t true. I do have time, but I am wasting it reading tweets and looking at Willow Smith’s Instagram. The amount of time that I spend on my phone scares me. The amount of time I see other people on their phones makes me realize that what I’m doing isn’t important and I shouldn’t be wasting my time. Getting invested in other people’s relationships just makes you feel bad about yourself and maybe feeling bad feels good sometimes.

I read into technology too much and it makes me sad. I take every “like” and “follow” personally. I take everything personally in real life as well, so maybe it isn’t different. Constantly having something to do like check Twitter, Facebook and Instagram makes me feel like I don’t have time to do other things like write or read. I feel like my brain is getting smaller and I cant think of any new ideas to write about. Sometimes when I start thinking about things that make me upset or I feel like I am thinking too much, I go on my phone to shut my brain down. I have been thinking about checking my phone the entire time I have been writing this.

I put so much pressure on myself to make sure my writing is good (whatever that means) that I stopped. I gave up and got involved in social networking. All I think about when I don’t have my phone is checking it. When I don’t have it, I don’t feel safe. (I secretly think one of the many reasons I didn’t like summer camp was missing my phone and feeling disconnected.

Why do I tweet? I like twitter because reading about what other people are doing makes you forget about what you have to do. I like Twitter because it makes me laugh. I like Twitter because it informs me when something important has happened. I like Twitter because it makes me feel closer to celebrities that I know I will never be close to. I like Twitter because reading about crazy things other people do makes me feel normal. I like Twitter because people are so  nice to me and it makes me feel happy.

I hate Twitter because it consumes me and I never stop thinking about it. I hate Twitter because it fills my brain with sad news and events. I hate Twitter because people are so mean to me for no reason and I don’t understand why. I hate Twitter because it exposes me to disgusting people who bully others. I hate Twitter because when I get mean messages, I like to look for mean messages about other people I like, because it makes me feel better, like I’m not the only one. I hate Twitter because it makes me jealous. I hate Twitter because it makes me feel bad about myself. I hate Twitter because it makes me feel good about myself.

I bet I will tweet this article.

comments

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  1. I totally hear you. While I agree that Facebook and Twitter and all social media take bullying to a whole new level, partly due to the fact that people can be heartless and hide behind their computers or phones, there are some up sides. Think of all the relationships that have developed due to the online community.

    Being a writer myself, I struggle with the balance every day. Every, single, day. Maybe put limits on when you log on. When writing, either go sit outside under a tree with a notebook or journal or bring your laptop where you have no internet. Yes NO internet is key. Log out of everything, and just open up word.

    You’ll figure it all out. good luck!!

  2. The thing is: everything on the Internet either gives you validation or crushes you. For example, in this very comments section there are buttons we can click to tell people whether we agree with them or not. Validating/crushing. It’s the same with everything else and it doesn’t really matter to us what it is people think about us, what matters is if they noticed us. We wanna be heard. We wanna be seen. The Internet can give those things to us and that’s why it’s so addicting. That’s the thing about the Internet.

  3. I think this is a widespread issue. You should check out this article on The Verge about this dude who’s taking a break from the internet for a year and writing his observations on it – http://www.theverge.com/2012/5/8/3007525/paul-miller-offline

    The overarching theme in his posts is our need for moderation. Disconnecting from social media sites isn’t very practical but cutting back from time to time is always good. Sometimes I remove the Twitter app from my phone when I’m getting too obsessive, or when I feel the itch to start checking, I distract myself with other things instead, like a book.

  4. Totally true Twitter and other social networks are addictive and time consuming. On the other hand they are useful to a certain extent. They allow people to share ideas much faster and if everyone respected each other instead of taking advantage of the anonymity the web allows to bully others they would be close to perfect! It all comes down to when to stop? how much is too much? Do I really need to post a picture of my lunch?….

  5. So so true. I 100% agree with this. Technology consumes my life. If I’m not in class or sleeping, on my phone or computer. I don’t read nearly as much and it makes me sad because reading is my favorite thing to do. When I’m walking to class, people are on their phones. When I’m waiting for class to start, people are on their phones. Whenever there is an idle moment in which you are not talking to another human being, your phone becomes your best friend. Perhaps even better than your best best friend or another person because sometimes a phone is just more fun and, well, you control it. Here’s to more human interaction and more doing what you love (without technology.)

  6. I was like this, too. At the end of last year, I just got tired & stopped logging on. One of the best decisions I ever made. But it had to become useless to me before I did that. It’s never as simple as just not getting on the site.

  7. It’s easy for people to say- just don’t use it. Then I wouldn’t get invited to events, people send messages on Facebook as though I am always online and going to relieve it like a text. I need my phone for my job, because I work all hours. Facebook is also where all my study talks happen with groups. I guess it’s all about using it for the right reasons and deleting shit people from your news feeds

  8. I cannot believe you are fourteen! You are such a talented writer! Just read a NY Times article about you and linked over to here. Keep writing, and put the phone down!!!!! :)

  9. Connect with Facebook to post a comment

  10. That is so true! Online social networks are consuming our time and intelligence.

    Oh, and keep writing! I love reading what you write. Your blog is amazing, by the way.

  11. I am sure most people here, (myself included) found this article through social media, read it on their smart phone, and used their facebook to post a comment, ironic really. That being said, the people of today allow technology to consume them far too much, but it is not all their fault. That is what the developers are designing their products to do, entertain and control the masses, and they are exceptionally good at it. The world is going to continue on this way and all we can do is hope that all of life’s true joys (face to face communication, non-electronic hobbies, nature, etc.) are not lost along the way.
    Sincerely A Technology Addict

  12. Great observations! When we socially network via FB, Twitter, texts, etc., we stop socializing IRL. Is this really connecting w/ ppl or are we just making all these social networking sites more $$$? Once u get into social networking, it feels like a full-time job 2 “stay connected” online. I haven’t been on Twitter for months and months bc of all the negativity.

  13. agreed

  14. You should have written a short story instead of writing this Blog :-)

    xoxo

  15. That was REALLY good. I don’t really know how I got here anymore (I guess via tumblr), but it’s like someone has woken me up (thanks! srsly!)

    I have been thinking about deleting my twitter for ages now, but twitter won’t REALLY let you do it. They just deactivate your account, and when you don’t tweet or check twitter, it will be non-existent after (I believe) 50 days. The urge for me to check twitter anyway was so big, I’m still tweeting everyday, despite the sad sad fact I don’t really like doing it anymore.

    Now I’ve read this, I think I’m going to give my attempts to delete twitter and actually start doing something with my life another shot.

    Thanks for waking me up .

  16. The day I stopped writing and embarked on five years of writers block, culminating in somehow forgetting how to creatively write, actually coincides with when I started using all the social networking sites. Sometimes I think ditching Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr might actually help me write again. And, frankly, all the social networking does is make me feel incredibly lonely.

    The first and last things I do with my day? Check my smartphone.

  17. I think y’all are following the wrong people. I love social media! The trick is to be selective and authentic in who you choose to communicate with. Why waste time following a stranger’s posts? You wouldn’t follow some stranger around town, would you? Stick with people who matter to you, just like you do in the meatspace. IRL = URL. :)

  18. You’re a brilliant and courageous young woman. Kudos, Maude. And thanks for this!!!

  19. yes x infinity

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