It all started sometime last month, when I did not get a reference on Twitter. It was a bullying campaign. Where a tweep asked another to just relax and let the people hate. Over time, they will give up. ‘Just wait it out and you will make it. Just like Soandso did’.
The user wasn’t tagged so I did not know who Soandso was. But most of the people seemed to agree that Soandso was the definition of ‘ignoring the disses’ so it came as a surprise that I had no idea what people are talking about.
See, I am a Twitter addict. I am on twitter constantly, I may not have the tweet count to prove this but I pride myself in understanding all the conversation that happens with Kenyans on Twitter. Even if it trended last week I am able to catch a glimpse of every inane topic that goes around. I however may not contribute for or against the topic because I found that people are just out for a reaction so all I do is laugh and RT whatever ridiculousness that is happening. I could go on why I am a twitter addict but let’s just agree that I am for now.
Anyway, the Soandso reference caught me off guard and even so when I found that my asking who Soandso was had got be blocked by the person I was trying to understand. This even shocked me more. What was this story that was so big that Soandso would have an alert on his name and go around blocking people?
I opened a new tab.
I included the username Soandso and all the references I had seen used with him, a musical instrument, a teleco gadget, a blue fruit, a hashtag. Anything I could to make myself understand, what the hell I had missed this.
I was taken back to July 2012, that is when it all went down for like a month. I got the whole story, it was huge. How the hell had I missed that?
You have to understand that it was a big deal for me. I dunno why but it just was. It was kind of being the tweep who was not there for the KOT vs 3 Zimbos Tweef. You feel like you are worthless, you try and read up on it but you cannot feel the excitement that was there when we were told we are good at running because of all the practice we get from running after food aid trucks. I mean, that was fucking hilarious. It combined the two Kenyan stereotypes known by outsiders perfectly. That was a great time to be alive. I miss that Twitter.
What I am saying is I felt like I had missed out on something quite as huge. I got the story but I missed out on the excitement.
Which bothered me a lot, what the hell was I tweeting about the whole month of July if not some weird references to Soandso
I opened a new tab. https://twitter.com/search-advanced
Searched all my tweets in July. Blank. What the hell.
Widened the scope. One tweet was in June then the next one in October. Nothing else in between.
I got scared a little. Where was I between June and Oct? Why is there no online record of what I did? Were my tweets deleted? Was I abducted what? This was very unusual for me. If you know me and Twitter.
What made it worse was my poor memory. I cannot remember what I was doing offline then. Was I missing my phone? I haven’t checked other accounts yet (or my blogs) but I noticed that it coincided with when I had thought I was done with campus and when I realised I was not.
Maybe those few months represent the few days that I was truly happy. So happy that I had just decided to live my life without telling people that I am living my life. So happy that I did not need strangers to retweet that tweet that I thought was funny in order to get a mild ego boost. So happy that I did not care what everyone else was doing with their life. Damn. I hope I had fun those few months. I am still trying to remember what I was doing then. But as I search, I am trying hard to relive those days.
I am trying to quit twitter.
It is no longer what I felt it was. I used it as an escape from real life. Where I would follow funny people, interesting activism, movie fans, nudes enthusiasts and just bum, you know. But right now, I feel it’s different. Everything seems extreme. Whether it that guy that keeps insulting women or that girl that keeps insulting the guy that keeps insulting the women. It is no longer safe to share your views, you are met with such harsh criticism that is not even objective or helpful. Glory is given to those that stick to one view and lord forbid you change it due to new information. The people that were behind you before will be the ones that are now in front of you throwing those tweets that show your previous views.
Animosity is rule of the day. Nothing nice trends any more. It is always, ‘Here is what this tweeping is saying and this is why you should be offended. #Hashtag’.
Twitter nowadays is about how hostile you can get. This is where you rack up Twitter points. Some may call them retweets, others may call them subtweets, or mentions or screenshots but in the end of the day, you want all those Twitter points to amass to some kind of follower count. You don’t even have to believe in what you are saying. Just be hostile, and when the follower count goes up, so you will your ego and then you will start thinking you are an influencer. You may even seek brands to pay you to advertise for them.
Now I am not saying what people on Twitter are doing is wrong. Everyone knows what brought them to twitter. Some men and women came to make people believe they are beautiful women. Some came to just rant about their favourite hobby – sports, partying, food, movies. Some came to market their products. Some came to get others to make them market their products. Some came to ridicule everything. Some came to hate on everything. Some came for the fame. Some came just because they heard it is popular. There are endless reasons as to why one may open a Twitter account.
I am not even saying that I mind the meanness/weirdness/extremeness etc.
What I am saying is I know longer enjoy my presence there. I am not sure why, but I think it maybe something to do with the hostility. It is not a ‘it’s the people you follow’ kind of thing. You can feel this hate leak out and find you even on your TV station. Hating because others are or because it earns you retweets. Not hating because you think the thing deserves hate. Or because you were personally offended.
So I am planning on quitting. Like I did back in 2012. I want to take it slow. Cold turkey may what have made me relapse in 2012. I will start by reducing my hours. Then probably reducing my days. All I will be doing now is those movie monologs I do. I like them because they do not attract attention and they let me vent out on what I love or hate. And also because I am usually just on my profile when I do them so I may miss out on what is happening on the TL or my mentions until the movie is over.
If that doesn’t work I am thinking of deactivating my whole account.
Seems extreme I know but I feel like I need to start all over. Lose the followers, lose the followings, lose the tweets and start all over. Or maybe just archive the account and start another one. I dunno, I am still thinking.
What then would I replace it with, different social media?
Probably not. I want to try out other things. Like thinking. I realised that I think to much but not in a good order. Thoughts are always in 140 character bits. And very jumbled. Moving from one idea to a totally different one, unintentionally. My concentration span is fucked. I need to get that back under control.
I also need to start writing longer texts. I have realised the career I am in will require some lengthy reports and I need to start practising for that. I need to enjoy writing.
I need to also start enjoying research, going out there and finding new things. I realise I travel a lot and never bother to fully experience this journey.
I need to spread what I learn. I want to use most of my time in learning and sharing science. We complain a lot about how fucked the education system is but what are we doing to change that? I will be spending time looking for ways to make science fun for kids and explaining to the older ones what earth science is all about. I think it is going to be an interesting journey, I think.
I need to also make this blog weirder. My life is not very interesting so I want to make up stories. I will call them fiction so that I can get away with telling the truth that you didn’t out out there. In the process, I hope to get my writing in check (for the reports) and also learn how to do research (for the science). This is going to be the weirdest journey yet and I do not expect anyone to understand/like/enjoy it at first. But hopefully in the end, some will. If none do, it is okay still. It will be worth trying it out.
I need to learn a new skill. Cooking maybe? Playing the violin? This goddamn graphic design that I keep saying I will learn? Drawing? Surgery?
I need to better myself, physically, mentally, socially, family-cally, etc. And I cannot do that with the same reasoning that gets me messed up. I need to enjoy new experiences. Have I said, that? I feel like I am now repeating myself.
Time to end this long ass post. Who the hell is going to proof read this before I publish? Not me, that’s who.
Anyway, welcome to the transition. The reality is I may never change but allow me to toy with the idea.
One more thing. Fuck Kenya Commercial Bank and Nakumatt: Worst Customer Service Ever.