The other day I expressed my feelings about something on Twitter. This was, of course, met with the standard reactions one would expect from people online. My take on the situation was wrong, my feelings were wrong, I should just avoid the thing that’s bothering me. You can’t just say something out loud to get it off your chest. There exists in the zeitgeist this need to invalidate your feelings in real time. The thing about novels versus the internet is that the latter isn’t generally accepted as a platform for self-expression.
I ended up wiping out all of my Twitter posts (again). The following day I deactivated my account, probably not permanently but at least until this moment passes. That’s my status update, my mood, what I’m thinking and feeling right now. No need to launch me on a soul-searching quest to discover why I was driven to what I did and, on a large scale, why I bother with social media at all. That was the statement. End of line.
Novels versus the Internet
I finally made the connection between my desire for a broader hermitage and the writing of this work-in-progress. Novels don’t have comments sections. I can say what I want to say, choose my words, take as much time and space to craft my message as I need. Then I can put it out there and walk away. Hopefully the reader will read the whole thing and absorb the whole of what I’m trying to say. Not just the 3rd tweet in a 7-tweet string out-of-context. All of it. Whether they get it or not, they can’t immediately jump on what I said and make me question why I said it. I’ve already worked that out on my own, long before publication.