Sharing/OversharingPosted: January 23, 2013
This is cross-posted on my Tumblr, which more people read. I’d like to have it here for posterity.
On Saturday night I was drinking at Trusty’s with friends I’ve made through Twitter (we bike in D.C. and talk about it on the Internet). There is nearly no chance I would have met either of them any other way.
I am totally unbridled on Twitter, and have been for years. I don’t know how else to use it. I chose not to lock or delete my account when I graduated college in December 2010. By then, I had already benefitted considerably from being active on social-networking platforms. I still benefit from being active on social-networking platforms. I also readily acknowledge that I am rarely polite, professional, or appropriately reserved on Twitter. I’m not much more so on Tumblr.
How I use Twitter and what I say on it came up between my friends and I. The conversation was likely prompted by this tweet, though there are dozens of similar ones I could point to. When James told me he was moving to Germany, then broke up with me, I tweeted about it and wrote about it for The Billfold; by writing in a very personal way about someone close to me, I crossed a threshold I had generally avoided (and still, for the most part, avoid—you’ll notice I write almost entirely about myself here). And so, the level of emotion, ambiguity, contextless song lyrics, and unwarranted barbs aimed at unknowing guys on OKCupid in my tweets swung way up. It hasn’t cooled down since, even compared to the style in which I was tweeting prior to my relationship with James.
On Saturday, we talked about how it often feels better to just say shit, not necessarily for cathartic reasons but because it’s just easier than repeatedly explaining why you’re freaking out. Or because putting something into the ether makes it much less monumental. I wrote the tweet linked above last week while having a panic attack in the bathroom at DC9. Being unabashedly public made things easier.
Occasionally, I try to understand what reading my Tumblr and Twitter must be like for someone that’s not me. Ninety-nine percent of the time, I don’t care how I come off—it’s how I’ve written in the way I’ve written for so long. But I am writing this now because there’s a shallow-breath feeling in my chest that I get when I care, and I don’t know how to react to it other than to say that it’s there and making me nervous.