On leaving

Jeff Mueller wrote some thoughts about the trouble with Twitter in which he explains how he's on hiatus (again) but can't bring himself to leave the network completely.

"I usually return because I miss my friends’ voices. They don’t congregate anywhere else. Leaving Twitter means leaving them. It means isolation. I’ve not even been away a week, and I already miss my friends."

He says he's met some good friends and clients there so what will he miss out on if he leaves completely, who won't he meet in future?

I get his point but liken it to leaving school when you're a kid because your family moves to a different area, or changing job.

Sometimes you've just got to move on.

You make new friends and explore new opportunities wherever you end up and can't live life on what ifs.

We say "stay in touch" but never do. Maybe we'll send a couple of emails back and forth but they soon dry up. Occasionally there will be those with whom the bond is strong and you stay connected no matter what but out of sight is, all too often, out of mind.

There have been people I've only spoken to on Twitter, Google Plus, Medium, some of whom I would have called good friends. But I don't talk to them any more since leaving each of the services.

A few emails and DMs were sent but soon stopped and I couldn't help but realise that the relationships only existed in the context of the services themselves.

But, just like the kid who melodramatically thinks their life is over if they have to move away from their friends, I've forgotten the heartbreak of leaving and dived into new environments and experiences.

The thought of leaving is much worse that the reality.

  1. That's part of what, periodically, tempts me to get back on Twitter (the handful of great people I've met there), but then I think about all the reasons I left, and they far outweigh the benefits of being there. Besides, like you say, if you really value those people, you can usually keep in touch by email. And if you don't, maybe the friendship wasn't as strong as you thought. "[you] can't live life on what ifs." I thoroughly agree.

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