I’ve been more active on Twitter recently, but I’m considering deleting the app from my phone and possibly from my life. Again.
In the early days of my experience with Twitter (about the year 2011), I was part of a community of writers who helped each other with achieving writing goals, brainstormed website ideas, and conversed over morning coffee before diving into a day of writing.
Twitter was fun in the early days—a positive experience most of the time. With each tweet limited to 140 characters, it forced people to be concise with what they wanted to say, and challenged people to be witty. (It can still be like this, but it takes discipline to shut out the noise.)
Also, in the early days, people were mostly kind on Twitter. If they weren’t kind, they were quickly shunned and blocked by the people they annoyed.
Now? Twitter is about the most toxic place you can go on the internet. It’s near impossible to follow people who you might consider like-minded, or people who tweet interesting content, without witnessing fighting or name calling in the threads.
There are so many trolls on Twitter who make it their mission to stir up controversy. And it’s not hard these days. There is SO MUCH controversy to go around, making it near impossible not to stir it up, unless you:
- Take yourself out of the equation. Which I might do in the near future. Or:
- Join in. Which I try (and sometimes fail) not to do.
Just last week, in a weak moment, I found that I had some time on my hands (which is when you’re most vulnerable to toxic content), when I decided to catch up on headlines and then wander over to see what Twitter was saying about those headlines.
Y’all know I get a lot of ideas and inspiration for my thriller novels by reading the news. I am drawn to people behaving badly, because they inspire story ideas, like this one:
In literary news, Author @HeatherSunseri comes up with idea for political/legal romantic thriller: two politicians make money off of pharmaceuticals by furthering the spread of a deadly virus that started a global pandemic. People die. Couple falls in love. The End. Plausible?
— Heather Sunseri (@HeatherSunseri) August 12, 2021
The above tweet, of course, is about this guy and this guy behaving terribly and costing many people, some children, their lives or, in some instances, their long-term health. I was kidding a little about the story idea, but not really. It is certainly a plot that Brooke from the In Darkness series might find herself caught up in, don’t you think?
I posted the same tweet above on my Facebook, and loved the comments I got about it. Most people agreed that Brooke was the woman for the job of exposing the two politicians behaving badly.
For now, though, I’m trying to decide: Should Twitter stay in or exit my life? I’ll keep you posted on what I decide. For now, though, are you on Twitter?