Falling Out of Love with Twitter

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.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1254208623 Karina Duran

    Amen.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=745306825 Paula Solar Ruigomez

    In the last few days I’ve been thinking about deleting my account because of all the hate there is on twitter. Being anonymous and that unwritten and unspoken rule of “It’s my twitter, if you don’t like it, unfollow” and then more hate is what really makes me sad, and they hate for no reason… I mean, how can you hate someone because of the music taste or the photographs they post, the clothes?… it’s like a neverending highg school phase.

    And then, I wanted to delete because of all the reasons you wrote about Maude. But on the other hand, it’s the best way to get personalized instant news.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000156144587 Alise Versella

    Oh man….so sad and true. The only good thing about all this social networking is just that, the networking. I use these media outlets to market my artistic endeavors. To become the next in a list of New York Times bestsellers. :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=621814167 Minna Hietanen

    I had that problem (mostly with facebook). Now I go horseback riding, take Spanish lessons, and start lace-making and Cuban dances. Life is good outside our phones and computers.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=20805398 Paul Margolin

    This post just assures me why I dont have twitter and will never get one. Im already on Facebook 16 hours a day as it is. Poor Maude. I feel bad you had to grow up in the age of social networking. If you can believe it, I didnt have a cell phone until I was 16. And Im thankful for that. I had a childhood full of real life interaction. I went to summer camp and had a blast. I made friends the old fashioned way (yes, we actually had to have real conversations in order to share things about each other) We wrote everything on paper and used a phonebook and spoke on a phone when we wanted to get in touch with someone. We didnt have an instant source of endless information-accessible by a portable electronic device In fact, the last thing that was ever on our minds were computers, cell phones and iPods. (Back then it was called Discman) Do I sound like a bitter middle aged man? If you can believe it, I’m 24 years old, and this was all going on only 15 years ago.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000328121638 Diane Conroy Schweinhagen

    The absolute truth! I see the same thing in myself but am finding it hard to stop

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000422275103 Hernameis Val

    “… knows it’s destroying her. You can follow her on Twitter @maudeapatow…”
    Why is everything so goddamn ironic now?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000443350508 Jillian Kristin Ramos

    As Paulo Coelho puts it “We humans have two great problems: the first is knowing when to begin, the second is knowing when to stop.” Maybe because posting your ideas on Twitter or Facebook gives you consensual validation. It should be good as it affirms your thoughts. But know when to stop.:) Go, grab your journal and write.:)

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=666640859 Roxy Magdaleno

    This is EXACTLY how it is for me. I can’t be anywhere without my phone or something that connects to the internet. When I was younger I would spend HOURS writing in my journal or jotting down poems. I haven’t written a complete song in almost a year, which is so depressing when my art is music and that’s what makes me me. I feel life is at a stand-still and social networking makes me forget that LIFE happens OUTSIDE of Smart gadgets.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=519991114 Luciana Prat

    This is exactly how I feel about technology right now.
    Great great article!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001297622209 Maria Gutiérrez Fonollosa

    This is what I needed to hear. My mum always tells me: You spend to much time on Twitter. But I always say that I spend just few hours in it. I love reading, writing and playing the flute but “I don’t have time”. Now I’ve realized how much time I’ve wasted on this social networks. I’m thinking of deleting my Facebook and Twitter account because I’m going to start my last grade in high school, and I’m worried to spend to much time in social networks and I want to focus on my studies. I don’t know what to do. Sorry fot my bad grammar I’m Spanish, but I’ve tried my best :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=608904573 Deinitisa Amarawi

    Yes, there was a time when Facebook and Twitter consumed my hours. But for me, that didn’t last long. I hardly touch my Facebook account. My twitter is passive, I read the few people I follow for funny or beautiful things. I find all that social network drama too tiring. I still spend a lot of time occupied with my smart phone, because note writing journals and creating artwork has become so much easier with technology. That’s the future, we can’t escape it, but what we use it for largely depends on our choice.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000597297094 Alyssa Swanson Hamilton

    Maude, I really like what you have to say here. Social networking has its place, but how do we keep it rom taking over? It’s an addiction like any other. What if you gave yourself a month off, from all of it? Let this voice inside you be heard- don’t let it get drowned out! Our world has gotten so noisy. Get a landline for your bedroom and use it. Instead of texts, write letters. Or notes. Pass folded paper back and forth in class until you get caught. Write in your journals, on napkins, in bed with a pint of ice cream. Write about the anxiety you feel, what you’re afraid you’re missing. Capture all those great insights. You are very talented, and your talent surpasses 140 characters. Unplug for awhile and see what transpires. And if you get bored, come down and listen to records with me! :) And, after writing this, I realize I also need to take my own advice!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000904387983 Erin Martínez

    Omg i hear ya

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1222890116 Grace Erline

    I definitely connect with this article, I too feel like my brain is shrinking due to my social media obsession. I wake up and the first thing I do is look at my facebook for the little red box, telling me I have a notification. Every time I try to delete my facebook, I found out that I can only “deactivate” it, and it turns out I have to “apply” to fully delete it…makes me so frustrated! However, I will say I am still in the honeymoon phase of Twitter. I can follow my favorite comedians, media figures, and friends. I’ve found many good reads and perspectives on Twitter. But I definitely agree my creative flow could be more, thankfully school is starting soon, but who knows if that will be a good defense mechanism.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1292695973 Debbie Pfisterer

    I agree. Of course, with Facebook I was able to get in touch with friends from all parts of my life. For someone who moved around a lot, it means a great deal to have all of those people who touched my life a button away. Fortunately, I got their e-mail and mailing address for future Christmas cards and trips to re-connect with old friends. ;D

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=8221148 I Eat Champions For Breakfast

    yes x infinity

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=705280590 Karen Valenzuela

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

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=761314929 Poliana Irizarry

    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. :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=730521967 Ashton Connolley

    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.

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