Maude Apatow and Judd Apatow on the red carpet at the Broadcast Television Journalists Association Second Annual Critics’ Choice Awards on June 18 in Beverly Hills, Calif. PHOTO/GETTY IMAGES
Actress Maude Apatow, the 14-year-old daughter of filmmaker Judd Apatow and actress Leslie Mann, recently wrote a post on hellogiggles.com about falling out of love with Twitter. In the post, she listed reasons why she both loves and hates Twitter. Some of our Mash reporters had a few things to say in response. Maude, we hope you’re reading!
If Twitter were a friend, I think it would be that exponentially passive-aggressive friend. We all have one, right? The kind of pal who says things like, “Oh, you’re writing that? I’m sure it’s great; I just didn’t know there was a market for people who liked tweets about how often you watch the Food Network.”
Ouch, that was a bit harsh.
If there’s one thing Twitter is perfect at, it’s bringing out the critic in everyone. Reading tweets can make anyone significantly more abrasive. Everything everyone else Tweets is witty and quirky and interesting, everything you write is about cats and “RuPaul’s Drag Race.” Feeling constantly inferior to other people (as a writer, a human, a user of technology) isn’t OK, so why do we put ourselves through it?
It’s simple. One tweet leads to eight tweets, which leads to abandoning your homework to read Twitter conversations between Demi Lovato and One Direction (are they even relevant now? I wouldn’t know, I haven’t checked Twitter lately…). It’s all fun and mindless entertainment until you’re faced with that dreaded command: Compose new Tweet.
Just breathe. Compose something simple; don’t worry about how the internet will feel about it. Say what you feel, say something you think is informative, just say what you need to say. Then? Instead of refreshing the page and stressing over your follower count, close the tab and do something productive. Maybe go outdoors. Treat yourself to some fresh air and human interactions—preferably those longer that 140 characters.
As I was about to start writing, automatically my Facebook went “ding!” Then I spent 20 minutes talking to a friend. Meanwhile, in another tab I have Twitter open, the little number in parentheses going up as more people post new tweets about their lives.
I know I’m addicted to social media; I just refuse to do anything about it. I wake up and read my Twitter feed like Mr. Cleaver reads his morning paper on that old TV show, “Leave it To Beaver.”
I need to know what all my favorite British celebrities were having for breakfast (usually cereal) while I was still sleeping, or what my favorite author is doing today (writing and taking care of his two-year old).
I like posting things on there, too. It’s not like I have anything interesting to say, really, but there’s always a certain pleasure when someone responds, likes or favorites something I’ve said.
I tell my parents I don’t have time to do whatever they want me to do—but I do have time. I just spend all of it online. Even when I’m doing important things like homework or scholarship hunting, my social media is always on.
I often think about deleting my Twitter and Facebook accounts. Everything would be so much simpler. No distractions.
But I won’t delete them.
All my friends live on the Internet, too. It’s where we make plans to hang out after Friday’s football game and where we post silly pictures of ourselves at the game. I can’t miss that.
And, besides, looking at those photos is way more fun than trying to focus on math.
>> How do YOU feel about Twitter? Leave a comment below to tell us or tweet us @mashchicago!
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