(Not) reading the room


Last night, I responded to a comment about the crotchets and quavers thread. It was a strident view. It has been such an irritating infuriating few days. I often get sucked in (often to my detriment). Pretty much me through and through.

A few hours later and I found myself in a different position. I was sorry I posted it. I said so in a Tweet, the basis of which forms this blog post. I’ve deleted that post now. Seemed like the right thing to do. So too being upfront about it. I’m not going to double down or make excuses. Not like so many other loons on here.

I am tired of the hostility on platforms like Twitter and Facebook. I almost certainly contribute to that from time to time. That isn’t the intention of course, though it is sometimes the consequence. When I first started using social media it was a platform that helped me find my voice. It was a supportive environment. Nearly twenty years later it’s a different place. I haven’t adapted what I’m saying. I still sometimes think and write in the way I did when I was 30. All around me is a generation with different preoccupations are using social media to find their voice. People are angry. Mistakes are fodder, and its catching. Mistakes are fodder for me too – I certainly make use of them when I might be better reading the room a little more. I haven’t caught up.

That’s my look out of course, no one else’s. I don’t have a thick enough skin for social media. Those of us with an anxious/preoccupied attachment style find the challenges thrown up by a perceived network in moments of challenge My thinner skin is what prompts me to question things, see things from (some) different perspectives. It drives self-reflection. It underpins empathy (though I accept that not everyone will agree with that idea as demonstrated in some of my writing). A thin skin is A Good Thing (despite what you’ve been told).

But it’s also not. Sometimes the shame and paranoia it induces is overwhelming. It can from time to time cause a pain in my upper chest like as though red-hot pokers were being pushed down hard. This is of course, as a result of my own actions in some instances – an irony given I derive some of my income from it. But it must be possible to be work in a field without participating in it. And maybe it would be better for me (and therefore for others) to wind it down. To pipe down. Channel the energies elsewhere. Rest.

My career is populated with moments when I’ve taken decisive action as a result of a string of seemingly insignificant events. These actions have brought about a gear shift in things for me. So it is here. A few weeks ago I deactivated Facebook and (aside from checking some dates of birthdays) haven’t looked back. Time has been restored. I’m not quite at the stage of deleting a Twitter profile, but I’m happy to completely disconnect from it.

That leaves me on Instagram (@thoroughly_good and @jonja.cob), on Threads (@thoroughly_good), the Thoroughly Good Blog and the Podcast.

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Many apologies to all concerned (and I’m quite happy to say that to all too). There’s no shame in that, I don’t think. I’m not apologising for this blog post. Obviously. I’m not a complete idiot. That’s keeping locked in to the decisive action.

By the way. Be sure to read Gareth Roberts in The Spectator (‘Stop Trying To Make High Culture Funky’) on that Crotchets and Quavers thing. He nails it.