Learn to Let Go

I have been criticised by certain people, over the years, in relation to a need to know who is no longer following on Twitter. The reason why it matters, as much as it inevitably does, is that I don’t just press buttons and let anyone into my feed. A fair bit of research takes place before that happens. Inevitably, as numbers now fall (mostly at my own behest, it has to be said) there’s the realisation that lots of people are a lot less intelligent than they’d originally been given credit for.

However, of late, it is inescapable that even the idiots are learning how to curate better.

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I am continually staggered at how many people followed me because they thought it would benefit them personally in some way, through some belief that a shared interest somehow got everybody more views. Growth has never been about who you knew. 

The true success stories on my feed (and there are many) have become so due to their own hard work, determination and sheer chutzpah. Sure, it helps those people to get thrown across as many feeds as possible, but you need to possess the material that encourages others to do that in the first place. That’s the key. Actual content.

Without it, you have no excuse to be angry no-one is interested.

This month was always going to be hard financially for me. If I was playing a game I pay for six months up front, the expense could probably be justified, but that’s not happened since before Christmas. That cash will now pay for keeping a website open for another year, go towards reprinting my business cards.

There’s a large social gathering that takes place every year that many people will be booking tickets for soon, where tens of thousands of dollars is spent in very obvious consumption activities. I would never dream of telling people what they do with their cash, but this year, I’m not watching that happen.

Once upon a time this was depressing to watch, now it just makes me angry.

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Then, this week, I had an epiphany. A good friend of mine suggested that maybe, if something wasn’t making you happy, it might be an idea to just stop doing it. When I agreed with her, and argued that the problem wasn’t ever the thing causing upset but how we as individuals react to it, someone very notable upped and left my feed.

This person was the last remaining member of a group of individuals which I was desperate to join, before making the fatal mistake of pissing off the girlfriend of their peer group with my attitude. Ironically, had those circumstances been different, I wouldn’t be here now. By blocking that desire, they forced me down another road, which ultimately not only has provided massive personal and mental salvation but is now reaping significant other rewards.

The only downside, thus far, is that I can’t afford to keep paying money to a game company even though I love their product. The only difference now is that it is impossible to be critical of said game without someone making life a living hell, and that’s now where love isn’t enough any more.

Other people’s anger has driven me away from the game they claim to love.

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The ultimate straw however is the fact that my old Twitter handle was hijacked by someone after I dropped it, in what seemed to me like a pretty cruel way of trying to piss me off that I’d not been smart enough to hold onto it. To add insult to injury, when I called this person out for doing so they almost too politely removed all the previous content and left a polite message telling people to go look for me at my new handles.

Not only is this creepy beyond belief, that person (who clearly thought they were doing me a favour) has been the catalyst to convince me I NEVER want to tell people where to find me in a public game ever again. By remaining anonymous, and acting in the manner of an online stalker, any desire to be associated with such negative behaviour has been comprehensively destroyed.

Angry need to be dealt with, and I won’t do that playing online.

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The only thing I care about right now is honesty: if you can’t be up front and truthful, it is just hurtful. If you leave without saying goodbye or an explanation, a block is what you get. It is time to look after my mental health above everything else and the last couple of weeks has just gone to show just how selfish and arrogant other people can be when all that matters is their own desires above everything else.

It is tiring enough right now, without inviting stupidity. However well-meaning you might think you are, ultimately, it isn’t if you frighten people and assume you know better, when you don’t. Anger, like everything else, allows positives to emerge from negativity. You just need to stop and give yourself the opportunity to do so objectively.

The main one I’ll take from the last month is that the people who really care are the ones who tell you without fear, and are not afraid to be critical of your actions regardless. They are the true friends: most are enjoying themselves far too much to complain online, or simply do other stuff when they get bored than moan about being bored online. That’s the key.

My problem is I’ve forgotten how to enjoy myself anywhere.