I joined Twitter a long time ago for two reasons: to see what all the hype was about and to market my website. I honestly thought it was strictly reserved for the weird and the attention whores (which is still true in part). This led to a big spike in site views and a Twitter following that eventually hit over 8,000 (I’ve switched accounts since then and now have slightly fewer, but use the old account for my blog updates). Over time, I’ve had the gift and the curse of being privy to all of what goes down on “Black Twitter”, which I simply consider to be the enclave of (mostly) Black people who tend to be very active on Twitter and tend to communicate back and forth or are connected by a couple degrees of separation. I’m a QA engineer by day and a blogger by night, so there’s an obscene amount of hours when I’m on the computer and Twitter is simply a tab away, so I maintain a pretty strong influence/presence. However, I’m also a married dad, which makes me detached from the whole experience in a way. This gives me the luxury of observing a lot of the shit that goes down from a certain distance. It comes down to this:
A lot of you motherfuckers need to put the phone or laptop down and go outside.
Here are a few things I’ve noticed.
Dating – Y’all know there are other people within your age group that aren’t on Twitter like that, right? They exist outside…or beyond your phone’s screen in the parties you go to. Log out and live life at some point. There are 140 million active users and about 313 million people living in America right now, so imagine the opportunity that’s being lost by assuming that people on Twitter represent more than a microcosm of everyone you can possibly be exposed to, especially knowing that people present themselves the way they want to be seen online. Think about it. Nobody twitpics or Instagrams themselves at their worst moment (or at least what they think is their worst moment…we’ve all seen pics of somebody’s slave rations Twitpic’d as if it was some braised unicorn flank or something). They’re showing you what they think is their best side at all times and it can’t be trusted. Meeting people in real life and going off the in-person portrayal is a hundred times better. Think about meeting a woman in the club. She’s probably got her best outfit on, makeup and hair on point…but unbeknownst to you, she could wake up next to you a couple days later looking like Abe Vigoda, which is why every guy should know it’s always doper to meet women on a basic grocery trip. Same goes for Twitter. By all means, if you meet someone you like there, great, but be mindful of the fact you could be being fooled. Watch the movie Catfish and thank me later.
Sex – Some of you give away waaaay too much. Nobody’s here for that Silk Stalkings shit via the public timeline. Just like in the streets, those who talk about it generally ain’t about it. A guy who makes physical threats online ain’t about that life or he wouldn’t be putting possibly damning evidence on the Internet for the Library of Congress to sop up. Yet and still, on the sex tip, you have women giving away intimate details about what they’re doing with their nether-regions and males trying to out-freak the next man talking about the degenerate acts they’re willing to perform on you should you happen to grace their DMs. Weirdos. Real women know that those who talk a good game generally disappoint and real men appreciate a little bit of mystique. And if sex is the most interesting thing you have to discuss, then I feel sorry for you. Read some books. See a film. Raise your goddamn kids…have something to be proud of other than what you do behind closed doors and you might appeal to someone whose blood doesn’t pump 60% Ramen broth.
“Comedy” – Some of you need to relax. Everybody can’t be center stage at all times. Everybody isn’t meant to be funny, so some folks need to just lay back and observe and not worry about getting followed. As it is in life, there are too many chiefs and not enough Indians. Too many bosses and not enough hand-to-hands and lookouts. Everyone can’t be a star, but the sad part is…on Twitter and the Internet in general, anyone can be. It’s just that people are adopting the (I can’t even believe I’m typing this shit) tweet styles of others and using it to accrue a following…that or they’re reaching for the stars trying to slander Black women or gays or whatever the popular target is just to come off like an asshole. Dudes will talk bad about Black women for the sole purpose of having angry ones in their mentions…because they wouldn’t be there otherwise. We see you. Everything’s funny until that hurt and scorn from a strife-filled childhood start to creep out.
All in all, I’m not perfect, nor do I claim to be. I have my missteps. I crack jokes with people and engage in good-natured ribbing when I can, but when I put my phone down or power down the Macbook, I live life and enjoy how real it is. And a lot of you are escaping into the Twitterverse and never coming out of there on some Alice In Wonderland shit…and it’s becoming very apparent. Take your ass outside and live. As a matter of fact, challenge yourself. Leave Twitter alone for a while. I’ve taken one month hiatuses myself and thoroughly enjoyed being able to leave and come back refreshed. It really puts a lot in perspective…and has me looking at a lot of dudes like some cartoon characters. The common cop-out is to not judge based on tweets, but that’s just an excuse to not own up to what you’re tweeting. If 90% of your tweets are ignorant, then you can’t be mad when someone labels you as ignorant. At the end of the day, people could just benefit from keeping it more genuine, understanding that Twitter fame won’t (necessarily) pay the bills, and to log off and take your ass outside sometimes.