Polly quit Twitter and she won’t be the last

Twitter is infested with trolls, bullies and the general wankeratti. It isn’t a pleasant place to be.

Polly Gillespie has quit Twitter and she explains why:

I was on Twitter for a while before two things dawned on me: Firstly, I was sh*t at Twitter. I wasn’t vaguely funny. I completely miscalculated how things I said would be taken. I had a soft underbelly (literally and figuratively). My hashtags were lame and I was like a gormless gorilla.

Second: I was perfect troll bait. I think anyone vaguely recognisable joins the Twitter Hunger Games without realising they’ve actually registered for the blood sport. For me, my gorilla act made me perfect troll fodder.

I was the nice, chubby kid at school again. Like I really needed to relive that hell. I screwed up several times too with poor attempts at humour, misunderstood references, and by simply just breathing.

Try having an opinion that differs from that of the?Social Justice Bullies. You may even get hacked because if it.

The attacks were brutal and relentless. Wow. This was social media lacrosse. I could see how you could break a collarbone or lose an eye or, at the very least, have your confidence rattled.

I wasn’t about to give up though. I was verified. I had the “blue bird” of Twitter “greatness”. I was told this was a big deal. I was “somebody-ish” in Twitter land.

We all know that verification is rigged. Only approved speakers get verified. I still am not verified on Twitter despite the veritable Twitter storm around me in 2014.

Among the angry atheists, faux feminists and evil invisible monsters there were real fans and great news sites to follow. I could soldier on, learning as I went. I could nail this. I could become hilariously funny, popular and devastatingly astute. The trolls would eventually see I wasn’t just a fat kid with good manners. I was capable of being cool.

Wrong.

I realised last week that no matter what you say, don’t do, or don’t say there are people just looking for a bit of argy-bargy. There are people desparate to be offended. Trying to reply, defend, deflect, engage or delete is just thousands and thousands of moments of wasted joy.

Twitter was like a frenemy. I never knew if I was going to be liked or loathed from hour to hour. It was like being back in school detention wondering how the hell you got there. “I wore non regulation Nomads sir? Really?”

I advise companies under Twitter attack to ignore it, they will soon be distracted and outraged about something else.

So I quit. I quit wondering if what I innocently commented on would get turned into a tabloid headline. I quit reading celebrities beefing with each other. I quit caring if anyone cared I was even there. I’m fairly sure very few people gave a flying stuff as to whether I was there or not.

Because I figured if I left the party amid all the noise and the screaming and brawling absolutely no one would notice, or give the slightest damn.

I was right. No one did notice or cared in the slightest. And now I get all my breaking news via the Herald notifications popping up on my phone every minute or so.

Heh, which they get from Twitter.

I get all the news alerts immediately, just like I did on Twitter, but without being called a stupid, racist, moronic, misguided, God loving, God hating, ridiculous, fake, ugly, fat, vapid, smelly, offensive, irrelevant, man hating, woman hating, disabled people hating, perverted, Trump loving, Trump hating, talentless, mindless, hideous mole.

I’m sure other people will pick up the slack for me, but to be honest I doubt very much anyone has noticed me slip out the back door. It’s a big, loud, emotionally charged party. One less fork will make zero difference.

Mind you, I’m screwed if I ever want to go back. Because I have no idea what my password is. I think I made it up about five years ago when I was drunk.

I barely engage on Twitter anymore. After 2014 I have a list of blocked people that I can export if you like so you don’t have to listen to the trolls and the bullies. Twitter is dying, it’s running out of cash, and no one wants to buy it.

In five years time it will be MySpace.

 

-NZ Herald

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