It’s not you, it’s me: Why I’ve fallen out of love with Twitter.

I’ve been writing this post for a few days now. I can’t get it to say exactly what I mean, but hopefully it goes some way to explaining why I’m taking a break for a little while…

At the moment, my relationship with Twitter feels like I’m with someone who is really bad for me. I know I shouldn’t be with him, so I keep leaving, only to be seduced back thinking ‘it’ll be different this time’. It never is. I come back, feel crap, leave. Come back again, feel even worse, leave. I can’t do that to myself anymore.

I actually think Twitter is ace. I have seen how much it has helped people, how it has brought people together, and how if someone is at rock bottom, Twitter will gather its forces and help that person out as much as they possibly can. I know this. Yet, I can’t put myself through it anymore.

For the past few months I’ve relied on Twitter as an outlet for my rants and depressive thoughts. It feels more anonymous than doing it on Facebook, and certainly is easier than always ranting on to a friend or family member. The problem is, that’s all I’ve been using it for, really. And I’m fed up of reading tweets back and not recognising the tortured, angsty, attention-seeking, needy person that comes back. Or, rather, recognising her all too well and wanting to delete her.

I’ve always been an outsider. I’ve never felt like I ‘fit in’ anywhere. At school I was never cool enough to hang out with the cool people, never weird enough to hang out with the weird people, never geeky enough to hang out with the geeks… I moved from friendship group to friendship group, desperately trying to find somewhere that I felt like myself. Now, that’s not to say I didn’t have some good mates through high school – I did. But I never felt like I was properly part of the group. There was always something that I wasn’t quite doing enough of, or saying right, or watching, or listening to.

Even now, aged nearly 31, I struggle to feel like I fit in anywhere. I have some fucking awesome friends. People I’ve known for a long time, and people I’ve met only recently. While I’ve been going through this recent bout of depression, people have amazed me with their kindness. But… I still don’t feel like I belong anywhere. Even with my closest, oldest friends, I’m still the outsider of the group. Maybe I always will be. Hopefully one day I’ll accept that and realise it’s OK to not fit in. But until then, it means I get incredibly nervous before seeing friends if I’m seeing more than one at once. I withdraw into myself because it feels safer than outing myself as an outsider.

So, what has this got to do with Twitter? Well, I’ve always felt like an outsider on there too, obviously! When I first really, properly, got in to it, there was a clique that I was desperate to be a part of. I’d tweet people in the clique, occasionally getting replies, and one or two became friends of sorts on there. Then I went to my very first tweet up. I felt so completely invisible. The ‘clique’ couldn’t care less that I was there. I struggled to talk to people. I just got drunk and lamented the fact that I really couldn’t ‘do’ social situations like that.

When I came back from that tweet up I continued to try really hard to fit in to that clique. I don’t know why I did it to myself. But I thought that if I could prove that I belonged there, then they would all accept me with open arms and life would be great. I’m sure you can guess that this didn’t happen. I’ve stopped following the majority of people in that clique. Because I couldn’t stand it. It hurt me every time I saw a big conversation going on between them all and I knew that even if I tried to join in, I wouldn’t really be able to.

On the flip side to this, I went to my second tweet up. There I met loads of amazing people. Wonderful, funny, intelligent, caring people. And I seemed to get accepted. I thought I was accepted. And there are friends I made that day that I hope I will always be friends with. Friends who have held my hand through the last few months of hell. But…

… I still feel like an outsider. This is not the fault of anyone I met that day. I don’t want to upset or offend you because you really have all been brilliant. It’s me. I’m no good at it. I can’t be funny and clever on Twitter – it’s not in my DNA. And that means that I don’t get to talk to everyone as much as I’d like. Because often I don’t know what to say. If someone is hurting or upset then I can tweet them and let them know that I care and that I’m here if they need a chat. But aside from those situations, I stay quiet. Then I beat myself up for not chatting to my friends enough.

All of this is my very long-winded way of saying that I need to take a break. I don’t know how long for. Maybe I’ll coming running back to you all in a few days and continue to beg for your friendship like an over eager puppy… or maybe I’ll take a few months out, get myself together and come back feeling good and strong. I really don’t know. What I do know is that I can’t keep tormenting myself every time I log on. It’s exhausting.

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7 Comments

  1. acroyear3

     /  March 13, 2012

    But you *are* funny and clever on Twitter! It’s the process of comparing yourself that’s hampering your enjoyment…you don’t have to be like anyone else; plus, that would be impossible anyway!

    Reply
    • Hmm… not sure I agree that I’m funny or clever! But it’s definitely the comparing myself I struggle with. Not just on Twitter, mind. xx

      Reply
  2. When I joined Twitter in June 2010 (I think) I started following a number of people who were very tweet-active. Most of those Twitter accounts are still live, but none are very active and some have fallen totally silent. Conclusion: It is normal for interest in Twitter to wax and wane, but you already knew that.

    So you think you’re not funny or clever with words? Well who is? Very few people can do it, and the supposedly humourous Twitter accounts rarely are. That’s another thing you already knew.

    You description of social awkwardness could be repeated by most people on the planet. There are groups we fit in with, and others we just cannot engage. As you already know, but I venture to suggest that you have more friends than most, and certainly more than I.

    I have a theory that we are all so bombarded by the media, especially advertising, with images of perfect people living wonderful lives that our own lives must always seem poor by comparison. In TV commercial land the women are all awesome chicks and the guys are great, they all have perfect teeth, gym-perfect bodies, and boy do they look happy. Those fantasy people are living in colour, while we exist in monochrome, constantly beset with worries. Sure you already knew that, just as you know that you are over-thinking about everything, so why I am bothering to write this? Because we’re all outsiders, because you are a human contact, and because I don’t want to lose you.

    Have a nice day, Polly.

    Reply
    • Thank you honey.
      I know that the things I write are nothing new – nothing that millions of people don’t think and feel across the planet. I guess I write it down/over think it because I want to understand myself more. I want to look back at the things I’ve done – see where those things have hurt me or caused me problems and try to change them.
      So, although the post could be seen as fairly negative, because I talk once more about the image I have of myself, and the image I project to the rest of the world… it’s actually me doing something positive – giving Twitter a break for a while – because it’s too tempting to me to use it as a way to beat myself up. “That person didn’t reply to me, they must hate me”. “All I’m doing is moaning on here today, people must be so sick of me”, that kind of thing.

      I’m not gone forever though. I’ll be back.
      Pxx

      Reply
  3. Ah sweety, where to begin…

    First off, you are funny and warm and caring and you fit in with me! I consider you a friend that I have on and off of Twitter. I understand what you mean about watching a conversation going on that is not including you but that does not mean that no-one likes or cares about you!

    When you are stronger you will look back and laugh at yourself for being so daft! This is just you being scared because of all that you are going through, and that is fine, don’t worry about it and don’t get yourself tied up in knots.

    Take care of yourself. I am not one to bombard people with constant “How are you doing?” texts etc, but if you need to talk, you know where I am. Hope to see you back online soon.
    xxx

    Reply
  4. Social media is a mixed blessing indeed. The crossover into ‘in real life’ is also quite challenging. I’ve made some long lasting (now in real life) friendships which I treasure. I’m not sure (my current use of) Twitter would see that happening again though.

    I went to one quiet and quite geeky meet up and enjoyed it – we talked about Twitter and blogging. I went to two more after that and they were just like other social occasions I hate and dread – ‘what do you do?’ ‘how witty can you be?’. I left in a hurry.

    I was wondering if you’d talk to your mum about the mixed experience with Twitter – she changed the way she was using it / the people she was following in quite a drastic way a few years ago.

    Anyway, it’s nice to see you back, or also away, if that’s what you need.

    Reply
  5. coffeebean

     /  June 2, 2012

    Thank you for your blog. I just stumbled upon it, looking for something, anything to help me with how I’m feeling. Just being able to see you put into words everything I’ve felt since a very young age has given me so much comfort because there is someone out there who understands. I don’t talk about it much, and I’m able to, as you said before “muddle through life” I’m only 21 but your harrasment situation is similar to mine. I know I should seriously look into getting help, but I can’t push past the “I’ve never had a bad life, I shouldn’t feel this way about myself, making me even angrier at myself for feeling the way I do, which makes me hate myself that much more”…. the vicious cycle continues. I don’t want to bother or burden anyone. IM the person everyone has always looked up to for being so strong. I’m the person who’s willing to drop everything in a heartbeat for someone no matter what. I’m the girl that takes the punches for everyone making me resent everyone for my own actions, there in turn again hating myself. I don’t want the attention, and sometimes I think maybe I really am this way because I do what the attention and self pity, which tears me up even more because I know that’s wrong and I shouldn’t feel that way if that’s really what I’m doing, so I tell myself things to punish myself. You know the usual, youre a horrible person, you don’t deserve to be with anyone, your a failure, fat, ugly, the list goes on. Some days are really good, and some days are unbearable, but I’ve never crossed a line to try to end it, but I would be lying if I said I wasn’t scared it might come to that one day, not purposely trying to die, but like you said, to make the pain go away. I don’t think I’m telling myself and punishing myself for attention seeking purposes, but I’ve been so entrained to think otherwise about talking about how I feel, that I just don’t. I deal with it poorly, Im so defensive without even realizing it, and I have anger issues, not bad I’m told, but I’m so overly critical of myself, everything I do seems to be wrong…. I know I’ve written a lot, and I hope you don’t take my post as just me rambling about myself, even tho that’s what it is lol, but knowing that there is someone out there who really gets it made me want to share and open up. Thank you again, and sorry my post was so long :/

    Reply

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