My Disorientation in Twitter, and what I got from it

I started my twiter account a couple of years ago with a naive intention: catching up with things I find interesting. Being semi-geeky, things I find interesting are news, political commentary, and things I find to be enriching. To pu it simply, I made a twitter account to be an audience of various news and facts I choose to read. So I followed Andreas Harsono (an Indonesian journalist), Ulil Abshar Abdalla (a young Indonesian politician, but interesting for me because of his involvement in the formation of the Islamic Liberal Network in Indonesia) and National Geographic News,, etc. You get the gist though my earliest idea of what my twitter acciunt would do is being like a live RSS feed but integrated. Awesome huh?

Then I started meeting people I know on twitter. And they started following me. Reciprocity demands me to follow them back. It all went south from there. As I’m looking through my twitter feed today, I saw my friends anguish and brokenhearted quotes. Well, wink, wink, nudge, nudge, there. Angry bitching, people arranging a reunion, a picture of a new bike, a snapshot of  a private conversation on something, nowadays it could be anything. Granted, I can still see the newsfeed I wanted to receive, but between the flooding you see tweets about how someone ‘hearts’ his boyfriend. And I follow only 90 people. I figure the more people you follow the worse your timeline is.

The whole phenomenon points to some things to be considered:

First, I suppose it shows character. In my case definitely bad ones, like my inability to just say no due to the ingrained habit of not wanting to displease people, and my consistency in grumbling even as I keep following said people. This blog has become my garbage can, my sanctuary, my blank paper. Of couse what you tweet (or retweet) shows your character.

Second, the idea of being lonely even when you’re in a crowd is made possible through this. Seeing people busy interacting about casual ordinary topics always remind me of how not chummy I am with them. It’s disheartening, and also makes me feel like a stalker from time to time, like I’m eavesdropping in a personal conversation. Am I honestly the only one who feels like a voyeur when you see people in a relationship talk in social media for the whole world to see? It feels wrong even when they’re saying their sweet nothings but it’s infinitely worse when they’re fighting. It puts you in a position where you’re not close enough with this people but also too much in the know on their personal stuff.

Three, it all just comes down to one hint for me: some people I don’t like enough to be interested in their every opinion. And after some time using twitter, I know knowing their thoughts sans discussing it with them will improve my emotions toward them. Some things just cannot replace private personal communication.

So I made a decision : I should just start a new twitter account. With an alias. And have it protected. Reactionary, huh? But it probably shows my dark character, I want all of my interaction with other people to be scientific and informative, and unemotional. I guess the epiphany is me accepting that inspite of all the ethics in me, I’m cold.


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