I’ve struggled a a bunch with being angry on Twitter. I’ll feel angry and share that anger with the world, which isn’t something I want to do. I think it’s usually related to my depression. When I’m having trouble feeling my own emotions, it’s hard to relate to others and empathize with them, so I tweet things I normally wouldn’t. I always regret it later.
The worst part is, Twitter rewards anger with followers, with favourites, and with retweets.
I made a tweet when I was angry that I now regret and it makes me sad that it got more RT / faves than most of my puns. :(— Aaron Patterson (@tenderlove) January 16, 2016
I said that I don’t want to share anger with the world, and that’s sort of accurate. There are things worth getting angry about, like the rise of fascism in America, and then there are other things, like the removal of the iPhone’s headphone jack. I’m okay sharing my anger about things that matter, and I’m okay with sharing frustration with things that matter less, but what I don’t want to share is unproductive anger.
This is why I feel being angry on Twitter, for me, is related to my depression. After a few years of talk therapy, I’ve come to characterize my depression by unproductive sadness, and that absence of usefulness when I tweet angrily is what feels familiar, what feels like depression.
Seriously, fuck Dropbox. https://t.co/F7BKhLX6M3— Ash Furrow (@ashfurrow) September 9, 2016
Even though I regretted this tweet, I didn’t delete it because it felt like productive anger.
So I’m not sure that being angry on Twitter is bad per se, as much as it is unproductive (despite being often celebrated). Since beginning to think about this in January, I’ve been a lot less angry. In general, 2016 has been a great year for making progress in my depression. And apparently my anger, too.