Leaving Twitter, But I'm Still Here

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Dear Believer in the Moment of Pop,

I want you to know in advance that I'm going to deactivate my Twitter account in the coming days. Don't worry. This will not be yet another think-piece explaining the problems with Twitter and why yet another person is fed up and leaving it. 

Lindy West covered it all way better and with greater depth than I ever could. Read her essay here. It's brilliant and true.

I just want my followers to know that it's happening so that you're not left wondering where @TimKailWrites went and why it's not there anymore.

Twitter has the unique ability to forge surprisingly meaningful bonds between users who may or may not ever interact in real-life or even direct message each other. We inevitably associate certain emotions and understandings of people with their avatars, gifs, hashtags, and Tweets, and all of it can be a lot of fun and all of it can be educational, inspiring, uplifting, and reassuring.

I know from experience that when a familiar user disappears off the face of the digital landscape, suddenly and without warning, it can sting. Even if we're all just projecting what we want to think about each other onto already idealized digital versions of self, emotions are still involved in that cyberspace process, and I want to pay respect to those emotions. It may feel silly to "make a thing" out of this, but it just is a thing in 2017 (and will be even moreso in the future as people find new digital ways to interact). 

And I don't want to completely sever mutually beneficial bonds. 

I believe in many of those bonds, and I want to create a way for them to persist even if there's no direct communication in the future.

I want to remind you (and myself) of the following simple truth: 

Even though I won't be on Twitter, I'm still here.

This might seem like a "duh" statement, but I'm acutely aware of the way Twitter and social media makes us feel as though nothing exists outside of it. There's a peculiar existential anxiety that goes hand in hand with existing (or not existing) online.

"Pics or didn't happen!"

"Social or you're not social!" 

"I Tweet, therefor I am!"

These are amusing thoughts given credence by a network of agreement built upon the user's need for a sense of significance. Amusing, but factually inaccurate. 

So, again, not on Twitter, but still very much here doing all the same work I always do, striving to help make our little blue planet a less miserable place any way that I can whilst simultaneously trying to be a better writer.

I'll still be producing podcast episodes of Work of Wrestling when inspired to do so, writing and publishing articles I've written and accepted from others, and working on creative projects that have nothing to do with pro-wrestling and that very well may never see the light of day.

I encourage you to remain subscribed to the podcast, to keep checking the website, to tell your friends (and me) about what you like and what you don't like. Tell me when I'm wrong or when I mess up as often as you tell me that I did something right. Tell me if there's something you feel I need to know about or if there's something you'd like me to discuss or analyze.

If you've got a story you need to tell for any reason, you can tell it to me by emailing wrestlingworks@gmail.com. If you've got an article you're excited about - also email. Want to promote yourself or your great work - email. 

Consider email my Bat-Signal.

I'm here, in real-life, brooding in a big bad ass chair, contemplating my past and my future, ready to do what's needed in the present.

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I'll also be maintaining the Facebook page, so you can comment and check in with me there as well.

For those remaining on Twitter, here is a list of people you should follow. These are people who I believe are making Twitter (and the world) a better place, people who are improving the pro-wrestling community with their voices and their creativity, or people who just seem pretty cool:

@carnycorporate

@hessowellspoken

@BFHess171

@ScarlettEHarris

@PastaSauca

@iamMimiChelles

@makeitloud

@wrestlingsexism

@wkamaubell

@KevinAvery

@MithGifs

@nowhitenonsense

@rendowgird

@HippieChic82

@Lee_Daniel721

@CAliGurl201

@GeraldLCooper

@EdgeOfSports

@benbenholland

@Crowtagonist

@Shoulders_Up

@DonNohVarr

@PrisPeter

@slw4836

@WWEFrontRow

@wallace_tl

@Denzealots

@Znydermann

...and many more. I'm writing this here, rather than in a thread, so that it's not all deleted when I delete the twitter.

The idea of leaving Twitter excites me creatively, despite whatever uneasiness it elicits. I won't be able to unconsciously rely upon other people's creativity, points of view, ingenuity, or humor to supplement whatever shortcomings may exist in my own; that mental crutch will be gone and I'll be forced to do things without the benefit of instantaneous gratification or even instantaneous insight. I'm curious to see how this does (or doesn't) affect my perception of professional wrestling and improve (or not) the way I formulate opinions about it. I'm going to have to work harder and dig a little deeper and read more actual books of all kinds - and I think that's a good thing.

I want to get back to the basics of human thought as it exists apart from the constant stimulation of social media. Keeping it around without deleting it isn't really an option, because if it's there, I'll check it. It's addictive that way. It will be good to remember what it was like before that need existed. I also want to do new things with The Work of Wrestling so as to remain ahead of that ever-turning curve in my brain, and bring you something that jolts your consciousness out of normalcy, apathy, or hopelessness. I want to move beyond a self-affirming feedback loop that has a way of worming into every other aspect of my real life. And I don't want Twitter, the company itself, to think it can continue ignoring its fixable problems and the damage it has done without losing users.

And I want to write less about wrestling fans (as I've done far too often) and more about pro-wrestling.

I hope you'll continue to join me on this ongoing expedition into the heart of what makes wrestling work, how it affects us similarly and differently, and how and why it is an art.

Update: Some of you may have noticed that I brought the account back for a bit early in 2018 - well, turns out I had the right idea in deleting it (will explain why in more detail on the next ep of the pod because it applies to wrestling). It's time for me to step away from the platform altogether for a long time.

I'm reminded of an episode of Seinfeld where Jerry explains to Elaine that a break-up never takes on the first attempt, that it's like a vending machine - "you have to rock it back and forth a few times and then it goes over!"

Well my Twitter vending machine just went over. Feel free to contact me through this site or email wrestlingworks@gmail.com. New eps of the pod are coming soon!

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