I realized last night that I need to take a break from Twitter for the weekend.
It’s been a pretty ugly couple of days in certain corners of Chicago’s online world and that’s led to a bout of intense personal stress and anger, in part because I’m too conflicted – personally and professionally – to write about any of it in detail or even do much about it right now. I love, respect and admire pretty much everyone involved, which is what really hurts. My feelings might be ill-informed by reality but after two days of watching good people tear at each other over ill-informed conclusions brought on by a lack of information I can’t help but think “If I could just get everyone together and talk this out, it would be fine.” (I’m a fixer by nature and that’s how your mind works when you’re the oldest child in a divorced family and you have a Superman tattoo on your arm.) Then an e-mail I got Friday afternoon from yet another person I admire and respect – completely unrelated to all this – almost sent me off the deep end because of how territorial it seemed over a battle that was…well, imagined.
I believe Leah Jones once said something to the effect that these electronic tools we use are just that: tools. So if the tools stop working for us, we either need to get new tools or take a step back from them and wonder if we’ve uh…got the wrong blueprints or…we took our measurements wrong? I’ve fallen into a metaphorical hole here but you get what I’m saying.
Anyway, I’m noting this here in defense of the medium. The problems of the last couple days didn’t result from Twitter or blogs or e-mail. They were the result of good people making some bad choices. And if I, Scott Smith, need to take a break from them in order to get some perspective and peace then that’s my thing. It’s not anyone’s fault. It’s not Twitter’s fault* or the lead item in a NY Times trend piece about the problem of a society too interconnected for its own good.
I just need a break for a couple days.
* Although I bet I wouldn’t be feeling this way if I had New Twitter by now like everyone else for crying out loud! Seriously, who do you have to screw to get a New Twitter around here?