Joss Whedon left Twitter for the same reason we all do — to concentrate
Joss Whedon — director of Avengers: Age of Ultron, writer of Buffy, director of our hearts — quit Twitter on Monday. The Internet then promptly went into hyper-speculation mode and many decided that Whedon had quit because he was being bullied by “militant feminists” that didn’t like the Avengers’ portrayal of Black Widow. Sigh. That’s a big conclusion to jump to.
In an interview with BuzzFeed, Whedon revealed that the idea of him deleting his Twitter because of angry feminists was ridiculous. He pointed out that he’d been attacked by people ever since he joined Twitter, but that it was “something [he’s] used to.” “I saw a lot of people say, ‘Well, the social justice warriors destroyed one of their own!’ It’s like, Nope. That didn’t happen.”
He further backed up his point, refuting the (very specific) idea that he’d left Twitter because the site Feminist Frequency wrote a bad review of Avengers. He pointed out that, “literally the second person to write me to ask if I was OK when I dropped out was [Feminist Frequency founder] Anita [Sarkeesian].”
Instead, Whedon left Twitter for the same reason we all (aspire to) leave Twitter — to get some peace in order to concentrate on work. He told Buzzfeed, “The real issue is me. Twitter is an addictive little thing, and if it’s there, I gotta check it. When you keep doing something after it stops giving you pleasure, that’s kind of rock bottom for an addict. . . . I just had a little moment of clarity where I’m like, You know what? If I want to get stuff done, I need to not constantly hit this thing for a news item or a joke or some praise, and then be suddenly sad when there’s hate and then hate and then hate.”
Do you think Joss Whedon also gets that weird feeling in his arms? You know, that one where you purposefully hide your phone when you’re stuck in a email refreshing loop? That happens to you guys too, right? Right?
But seriously, that’s Whedon-levels of self-restraint right there, so color us impressed. We don’t know if we’d have the self-control to delete Twitter in order to work. Well, maybe if the weight of the Avengers universe was on our shoulders.
Indeed, Whedon touched on the fact that compliments on Twitter can be just as harmful to the creative process as insults. “So many people have said mean things, but so many people have said wonderful things. But how much approbation do I need before I become creepy?” he asked during the Buzzfeed interview. “I so appreciate when people took the time to say something nice. But for my own self, it’s like, at some point, you’re just like a little compliment leech. That’s not going to help your writing any more than people slamming on you.”
The whole idea of Whedon escaping Twitter because of being bullied apparently came via tweets from the likes of James Gunn and Patton Oswalt, despite the fact that they were just pontificating. But now we know the real story, the guy just has work to do! He’s busy writing your next fave movie or TV show, he can’t be distracted by that newsfeed.