Give Us a Break

I’m taking a break from Twitter‘, say an increasingly hefty swathe of Tweeters.

Typically, this is coupled with a reference to the essential preservation of mental health.

This must be an affliction of the new millennium. Even an exercise in withdrawing from the social scene ostensibly to avoid the spotlight morphs into a supplementary attention-seeking missive.

In averting reactions that might punt them further down the long and winding road of mental ill-health misfortune, they’ll just post one more bulletin that through its inherent inconsistencies and jaw-dropping pathos will trigger every vitriolic troll on the cyber-manor.

You can’t imagine that this stratagem would ever have washed in the 1980s. Telephoning your circle of acquaintances to let them know that you wouldn’t be using the telephone for a while? Or writing a letter to advise that you’d be putting your pen on momentary ice?

Your deets would have been Tippexed out of address books faster than Donald Trump’s crooked gammon claw clicks into pussy-grab mode at redneck Republican fundraisers.

Any well-adjusted soul with a modicum of common sense would have just stopped calling or writing. As they would do now with tweeting.

But we’re not dealing with grounded personalities here.

When a person spends half their waking hours online, indulging in relentless, unmitigated shithousery in order to whip up a veritable cackstorm, it’s a trifle rich for them to snowflake out of the mix with a self-serving proclamatory combo of vulnerability and tears. Not to mention a swift recourse to a popular bandwagon hop onto the mental health gravy train of sympathy that might garner hefty scoops of immunity to further spadeloads of harsh criticism. That sounds as cynical as it is cowardly, not to mention borderline delusional.

If they can’t stand the heat, they need to back out of the kitchen. And certainly, not to stay put and turn all the implements up full blast.

And you can add all those whingeing, corrupt, self-adulating MPs to the list of asshat hypocrites who need to get their houses in order. How often have those chumps hot-footed it to the local Old Bill with their bogus threat claims at the first sniff of any potent riposte to their own trademark polemic online rant-fests?

There is a ceaseless clamour for the regulation of social media, but what we are truly busting a gut for is the self-regulation of attention-addicted performance whores.

They can block, mute, even prevent replies, but most powerfully of all, they can just stop posting on social media altogether and instantaneously. After all, such pin-headed loons don’t seem best disposed for the basic premise of open dialogue: that it is a two-way process.

But they just cannot let it go. Even in their purported withdrawal from the fray, they have to keep themselves centre stage. They just want the attention and the leverage on their terms in a nice, cosy, safe environment. That is, alas, not how the real world works.

It is, if truth be told, the rest of us who need a break.

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