Last year I resolved to overhaul my presence on Twitter. I was going to stop posting unfounded proclamations like some lunatic soapbox Evangelist, stop using Twitter as a bartender to vent my most illogical frustrations and perceived slights, and, most importantly, stop looking for fights to pick with strangers. For the most part I feel like I’ve gotten better. The political doomsday predictions have cooled to subtle pithes commenting more on the ridiculousness of our current state of affairs than damning my ideological other. I’m no longer condemning our elected officials in incoherent diatribes like some personal vendetta version of Common Sense. I’ll still bitch to the TL, but I’m trying to only bitch about things I feel genuinely upset over and not random complaints like someone cutting me off in traffic or AT&T providing the same cell service in the middle of The Domain as the mountains of Afghanistan. And, for the most part, I’ve toned down the amount of strangers I try to take to task online.
Unfortunately last night I slipped. Like many addicts I had a setback, gave into my baser temptations, and allowed the worst, most confrontational part of my personality to overwhelm me and make me spend the majority of my night confronting different opinions. Now, I’ll defend myself this far. This was probably my most civil Twitter dot com battle. I didn’t resort to calling anyone anything, didn’t tell them where they could shove anything, and, stuck and asked those I engaged with to stick to the topic at hand. But at the end of the day insisting on smoking crack out of a clean pipe is still nothing to applaud one’s self for. I still spent hours out of my day arguing with strangers for no reason other than the satiation of my temper and my own insecurity, over a topic that bore zero concern over my own life. I wasn’t defending my sovereignty or personal character to these people. I was talking about how much Matt Kuchar tipped a caddy for God sake. If that’s not the biggest waste of time I don’t know what is. Climbing in bed and realizing THAT’S what I spent my time doing is such a disgusting feeling. It’s like looking at your bank account on Monday morning and really processing the consequences of that bar tab you could never actually afford. It’s also utterly pointless. I didn’t win some sort of Twitter debate trophy, or convince a whole swath of online strangers to follow my posts. I didn’t even convince one (1) of the people I fought with that my point of view was correct. But let’s be honest, persuasion is never the intention of anyone engaging someone online, it’s the rare collateral of venting, confrontation, and projecting and misdirecting one’s own insecurities.
As I try to process and learn from everything that’s happened over the last several months one thing I want to prioritize is my time. I want to get better at properly allocating how I’m spending each day. Also, if I’m going to enter the world of content creation, as I so deeply wish to do, I don’t want my voice to be one of confrontation. That’s a pigeonhole I’m not willing to climb into, because it’s not who I am. I’m not a fighter, I don’t wake up and wonder who I can challenge, I’ve just been historically terrible at channeling my frustrations and ill-temper, as evidenced by both the fist sized dents in the tailgate of my truck and the catalogues of fights on Twitter. But I’m getting better, I want to be better. I want my presence on social media and online to be seen as a source of solid content and positivity. I just gotta stop getting in fights with people on Twitter.