Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Rethinking Twitter

I almost quit Twitter over the weekend. For several weeks, I went back and forth about deleting it altogether. I thought about what might happen if I did. I would lose years worth of online friendships (I'll officially be on Twitter for a decade this upcoming January) with whom I correspond mostly on Twitter.

On a more superficial level, I would lose "my brand." Though there are two of us online who are known as "nerdwriter" (myself and wildly popular YouTuber Evan Puschak; he's added the "The/Thee" before nerdwriter) and sometimes people confuse the two -- you know, both young adults living in Los Angeles with similar usernames -- but I cover stuff that Evan doesn't. I don't have anywhere near the number of followers he has (holy cow, dude, lol) but my username has somehow stuck around in Catholic circles and it's helped me in career-related things. I actually considered giving Evan the username so that he could keep it simple (just nerdwriter) while I could've started over but it didn't feel right.

I thought about "squatting" the username -- keeping it, closing it up, and deleting all tweets -- but I don't know what Twitter's rules are or if they will change them in the future, taking the username from me. I thought about deleting it and not caring if someone else took it... then I really stressed over that potential decision. My fear is that someone would snatch it up, pretend they were me, and then try to ruin my reputation with it. No, I'm not paranoid. It's happened to me before. Spoiler alert. Highlight between asterisks if you've read the first novel or want to be spoiled. *What David tells Will that Candace did to Lina was what I went through. My usernames were hacked and things were sent out by an ex of mine to try to ruin my reputation -- which then former friends (who were the inspirations for Candace) later used to further try to ruin my reputation -- during the days when Myspace was king.*

Sometimes I think to myself, "what if I just delete everything but the blog? I always feel weird promoting my posts and/or my novels anyway." I think about some of the women I look up to and see how they've given up their social media accounts, their blogs, etc. and how they live perfectly content. I think about how I've covered a lot of my life over the nearly 10 years (a decade this upcoming Christmas Day) I've been writing and how people are probably tired of reading a (basically) public journal of some random gal from Los Angeles who reverted to the faith and has, in recent months, struggled with the faith.

I became very upset over some Twitter drama I was dragged into (I don't know why I was dragged into it since I keep myself far away from it... and the conversation had nothing to do with me in the first place) and I let y'all know what I thought about the whole thing. (For those who missed them, the tweets are found here, here, here, here, and here). As I said in the last tweet, I didn't do it for attention or for people to tell me that I should stay. I said it because I was genuinely upset and I hoped that it would make people think twice before pulling me into their arguments. A lot of really lovely people tried to keep me on the site, giving me such lovely compliments that I don't deserve but made me feel warm and fuzzy nonetheless. Still, it was something that had been on my mind for a long time so I knew I needed to think and pray about it.

In the end, I decided to stay... because something someone said stuck with me: "Small stones make ripples. And God's message is rarely called a small stone." (Shout out to Franco Walls for the tweet!) I thought about it and I could almost hear God saying "you can keep doing little things in an effort to combat some of the bad." I may not do anything except take a couple of seconds from people's days to remind them of something good -- of God or the goal of getting to Heaven through a saint quote -- but, at least, it wouldn't be contributing to the uber toxic environment we all encounter on the site these days. So that's what I've decided to do.

I want to keep posting saint quotes and sharing links to great articles to remind people of the Truth. It may annoy some people and it may not do anything at all -- perhaps it'll only be beneficial for me -- but it feels like the right thing to do. I'm a "mediator" by default and sticking around makes the most sense to me, even when I'm really annoyed with HS-level drama.

It also means I'm going to have to seriously push myself out of my "run away from toxic folks online" comfort zone. That doesn't mean I'm going to tolerate what happened over the weekend (I'm going to be using those mute and block buttons more freely) but it does mean staying put. Of course, if I have nothing good to contribute, I'm going to stay quiet but I'll make an effort to add some better content to the site.

Perhaps, in the future, it may change again (especially if it becomes problematic for me on a deeper level). I am a private person (trust me, you guys don't know everything I go through) and I like time to recharge after being overwhelmed by the negativity so I may one day delete everything. For now, I'm going to try to do a little good and hope it's enough.

Anyway, that's it. I'm starting my big project later this month and have to finish my third novel before then (3.5 more weeks) so I need to go work on that. The novel, that is. We're in the triple digits, folks, so it hopefully won't be long now. :D

I hope you are all having a lovely week thus far.

As always, thanks for reading and God Bless. :)

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