I’m not on Twitter today.
Back in the days when I was a Warcraft player, we had a Scandinavian tank called Than. He was an ex-Army officer, and one of the most capable people ever played with during the entirety of my time in Azeroth. I learnt a phenomenal amount from him, including the importance of principle in being the best human being you could manage, within your time and circumstance.
One day, shortly after we’d managed to beat Karazhan in the Burning Crusade, he left. No goodbyes, no warning and that was it. He’d mentioned this to me a few weeks previously, that sometimes the best way to move on is to just cut the cord and vanish, and I am reminded of him this morning for that reason alone. He needed to move on with his life. The game, as had been the case for so many people, was a distraction.
It was preventing him from what needed to happen more than playing.
Someone has emailed me this morning and called me an idiot for sticking to principle. ‘The only person who loses by you not being on Twitter is you: its your advertising platform, why boycott it?’ There will be absolutely no discernable effect of my action, and I’ll look like an idiot. Once upon a time, I would have believed this, until the concept registered that when someone else is offended by your actions, that’s their issue and not yours. The fact remains: if everyone moved as a unit, Twitter would be affected. The fact they won’t is the bigger issue now.
Those people responsible for abuse on Twitter are protected because their use as product now supersedes the trouble they cause with abuse. The onus is placed on victims to do the work, exactly as it is in reality, and this is how the patriarchy maintain their superiority. It’s how they ignore systematic racism, try and erase transgender rights and visibility, and maintain a status quo that is no longer fit for purpose. I used lots of words that will scare my e-mail creator for a reason. If, as a man, you’re not supporting feminism right now, you are part of the problem.
Sticking to my principles is more important than appeasing those only interested in what they want from me.
This week, I worked out who I am. Of course, I knew who I was before this point, but the crucial difference between Monday and now is the understanding that not only is this the right path, but I’ve already passed my original destination. What’s happening now is the path to success, and that means that the people on Twitter who are impressed at what I’ve done, and who are the ones I really need listening to me have already taken notice. What I’ve gained this week is the ability to see myself objectively for the first time in over thirty years.
There are other people boycotting today. They, undoubtedly will be disappointed at the number of people unable to disconnect from social media. I believe this shows that mental health issues right now matter more than sacrificing the ability to communicate, and that’s a crucial point that will be overlooked by many people. I’m on it. There is a plan and I intend to see if a difference can be made because of it. Having a day away from distraction has cleared my mind and helped me focus on the task in hand.
My principles have become the means by which I move my life forward.
In the end, its what you do that defines your life. That means doing what’s right, and this is.