Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Shut Up You Stupid Bird!

The "stupid bird" referred to in the post title is not an actual physical bird. Rather, I'm talking about the social networking service known as Twitter. I've told this bird to shut up and stay out of my life today - I have deactivated my account on there.

My feelings on this are complex and varied, but ultimately I decided that the negative influences Twitter was having on my life far outweighed the positives. Almost everything I've encountered on there has not been conducive to my mental health.

I know I probably could've remedied that in ways less extreme than cancelling my account. I probably could've pruned the list of who I was following, maybe downloaded an app that could filter my tweets, etc. But ultimately I decided the only way I could preserve my happiness in relation to Twitter was to sever the connection entirely.

Why is this? Well, I respect the original ideals Twitter was founded on. I understand it was created with good intentions. However, those intentions have put me through my personal Hell, on more than one occasion. The reason is because 140 characters really forces users to use the strongest, most undiplomatic language at their disposal. It forces one to denigrate oneself to the lowest common denominator when it comes to freedom of expression.

I'm all for differing opinions and freedom of expression. However, Twitter forces - and sometimes encourages - its users to wholeheartedly abuse that freedom. It seems the only way for one's free speech to be recognized on Twitter is to use it to hurt others.

I believed in the power of Twitter...once. But I've had more than enough of its vitriol.

I'm not giving up on social media - when used properly, social media can be of great benefit to a spiritual, Hindu seeker like me. Facebook is an example of this (speaking of which, my Facebook account is at if you want to follow). But Twitter is not suitable for my purposes. Twitter is one Icarus that can have its users burn their wings and fall.

My apologies if I sound overly bitter about Twitter. It can be a good service if you know how to use it well. For me, though...I'm flying away.

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