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  • Writer's pictureCroc

Take The Long Way Home

Updated: Jun 5, 2021




Welcome to my new blog.


First off, thank you for coming. You've taken time out of your day to come see what I have to say, and that means a lot to me. I hope you'll find things here that make you laugh, make you smile, but also make you think.


When Twitter started to become all the rage roughly a decade ago, I stubbornly resisted. I was a big fan (and avid user) of LiveJournal, which encouraged users to write as much or as little as they wanted, whereas the entire concept of Twitter to me seemed to encourage oversimplification and short attention spans at the expense of nuance, clarity and depth. It was all about maximizing engagement while minimizing effort. Eventually, so many of my friends ended up there that I really had no choice but to follow if I still wanted to interact with the community.


I gradually adjusted, even building up a respectable following, trying to put my complex and sometimes only marginally focused thoughts into multiple tweet threads, hoping that the totality of what I'd said was compelling enough to defeat it's discouraging length and format. But just as it felt like I'd started to have some success with it, world events began to make Twitter an increasingly dark, angry place.



Trump's presidency was like living in emotional acid: just existing daily was knowing that some new atrocity was occurring when you hadn't had a chance to process the soul crushing impact of the last few dozen. All that rage and sadness built up online, all that helplessness and burning need for justice created something that initially was mostly good: a newfound demand for accountability and decency. A desire to protect people from those who would do them harm. A fandom that wasn't going to take it anymore, even as the understanding of what exactly "it" was seemed to rapidly get confused and distorted until "callout culture" became the new "SJW".


What started as making people aware of the dangerous acts of a few people by presenting comprehensive, detailed proof was increasingly misapplied to attempting to "out" well known individuals with serious but flimsy accusations for quick attention and clout. And instead of recognizing that this obviously wasn't an either or situation, that in fact some callouts were necessary and some patently ridiculous, both sides raged over the validity of "callout culture" as if any admission of less than total righteousness completely invalidated every instance as well as their own personal beliefs.


Because this is what Twitter does. It's TL; DR mentality slowly and insidiously trains you to skim, to skip, to not invest, to guess and judge based on a lack of critical info, to perceive anyone expressing a (forcibly abbreviated, potentially non-optimally worded) opinion that doesn't seem like it matches up with yours as a foe that must be vanquished in mortal verbal combat for the approval of our audience. It even ENCOURAGES people to express negativity with memes that at best result in agreed echo-chamber frustration and at worst can make people reconsider their connections to, and opinions of us.


Social media is a tool that can be used for good or for bad depending on the motives and intelligence of the person using it. At it's best it can be informative, supportive, funny, lighthearted and make us feel connected. Like a knife, it can be a useful utility or a dangerous weapon. You can hurt others, as well as yourself, if you use it without extreme care.



At it's worst it does the opposite. We feel isolated, frustrated, helpless, lonely, inferior, unwanted and forgotten. We start to believe that we don't matter unless we're doing something of interest or benefit to others, and when we don't get the (short) attention (span) of others, some insidious voice deep down inside of us whispers that WE must not be very interesting or valuable as friends, and people. We frequently read into what little information we get, and our fears are all too eager to fill in the gaps. On top of how it can make us question ourselves, social media reflects and amplifies the current mood of society like being in a greenhouse on a very hot day. Unfortunately, the last few years have been a steady diet of disheartening events, something anyone reading this didn't have to be told.


All of these things have made Twitter, for me and others, an increasingly difficult place to get any emotional benefit from. I love to write, I love to share myself, to express myself vividly and verbosely. I want people to feel encouraged to connect with me, and I want them to do it with as many words as their heart desires, without any fear of talking too much. Twitter only allows me to be creative in churning out witty one liners, recycled memes or fursuit photos, just so someone can click on a heart or some arrows, as if that score is the public perception of my total value as a person.


I don't think I can abandon Twitter just yet, because too many of everyone is still there, and a beautifully constructed ghost town is still very lonely. I don't need 8000 followers who mostly never engage with me to be happy. I just need a few invested, inquisitive and motivated people who enjoy being here and interacting. I would love to see people leave detailed comments and utilize the forums here for questions about music or fursuiting or even complex life issues they want help with. But I realize this is a pretty big ask, and I have lived long enough to learn to keep my expectations low.


Still, I should have done this long ago - if for no other reason that being true to myself. I have much to say, and hopefully a lot to offer. I hope this is a place where others can share their feedback and have their curiosity and uniqueness encouraged. Regardless of who comes calling, I have to do this for myself. Time to find out if Field of Dreams was right:


"If you build it, they will come."


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5 Comments


Thank you always for your generosity of sharing thoughts and reflections!

How did I find you though? I haven't been interacting with Twitter for several months (for many reasons, many just being logistical), so if you posted about being here, I missed it. The way I found your presence here was by viewing a lovely post (of many) by Paco Panda.

...and you've done a spectacular job with the place! I just spent a couple hours catching up, after having missed your introspections for several years.

You did mention L.J. though, but not in detail, so I was wondering what made ya decide to do a wix blog instead of going back to LJ blogs? You've got between 276 and…

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Beastly Drohan
Beastly Drohan
Apr 22, 2021

Great first piece that I fully agree with. Having been on social media since the MySpace and LiveJournal days, there was always this need to gain artificial attention from either friends or from complete strangers. Like Heck, if you were not on someone's top ten friends list on MySpace that was an insult. The big difference is that for both better AND for worse we have grown a lot more connected since and now any small, petty thing can instantly become known as something to be angry at, even if you have no idea what is going on. I agree that the Trump presidency has made social media in general that much more dangerously toxic because the rhetoric of the sites…


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Thank you for sharing this. It’s true how suddenly everything was changing, until the point everyone cares for things we shouldn’t, like how much interaction and numbers on our feeds make us feel better for any inexplicable reason, to the point we do our interaction on social media only to feed those numbers and not to really feel connected with others.

And it is the point that anything is offensive and awful for anyone that we prefer to remain silent in whatever our opinions are, after all we can’t please everyone in the world.

I myself have abandoned Twitter and any public social media and that have helped me a really lot on my anxiety and stress. I prefer to…

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Rocky Coyote
Rocky Coyote
Apr 21, 2021

Good on you for starting up this blog, Croc! I look forward to reading your pieces here. Personally I use twitter to post art and random thoughts that pop into my head, basically marching to my own beat. It can get frustrating at times, especially for the lack of nuance you described, but I remind myself not to take it too seriously.

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Croc
Croc
Apr 21, 2021
Replying to

Twitter definitely can serve a useful purpose for certain things, photos and memes and short updates among them.


I just wish people used it for what it's good at without trying to make it do things that it's clearly not built to do well, and thoughtful discussion is at the top of the list.


Thank you for your support!

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