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I have a Twitter-ish personality. I sum up things in a sentence or two and hope for a laugh.

The connection I found during the earlier days of Twitter was something I will always remember.

I found like-minded brainstormers from all over the world: people excited about teaching our children, pushing the boundaries of what is possible, and building our collective future.  I thank all of you who participated on this level.

This past year something changed for me.

I had a solid number of followers, about 1600. These are interesting people and companies. And I thank you all.

I carefully gained these followers through positive engagement. And it was rewarding and humbling work.

Then I fell into the obsessive trap of consuming news.

I know I am not alone in this.

I wanted to see who would say what, and who would dare to cross the line. Frantically, I would read @replies 20 comments deep searching for hate and vitriol. It was shocking to read—and completely addictive.

My mood changed overall.

I realized that after reading a hateful comment, I would be less emotionally available for my daughter for a good 15 minutes. I couldn’t process it fast enough.

My 1600 followers paled in comparison to the followers of a hate-spewing account. I watched as they would gain followers, starting as an egg with 14 followers, to surpassing me, then up to 2500 followers and beyond.

And I get it. Reading hate in its purest form is scintillating.

All the while I plugged along with my little account. “Slow and steady wins the race!” I would think. “I’m just the little engine that could!” But I began to feel irrelevant.

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And so I surrendered.

I surrendered because of my own shortcoming. I am not strong enough to post STEM project ideas amongst a sea of Pepe memes. I am not strong enough to read comments that have been written to throw me off without getting thrown off. I just do not have it in me . . .  yet.

But it is a shame to walk away from the positive aspects of Twitter: sharing great ideas, encouraging others, hilarious memes. I miss chats and other communities. And the sense of humor in all of you . . . beyond belief!

The hate-spewing egg has a person behind it as well.

I’ll call him or her Mr. Egg. Whether you believe me or not, I respect your place in the world. I don’t have to like it, but I will accept it. You ruined Twitter for me but maybe that’s a good thing. You are jabbing at areas I have become numb to, and forcing me to find a different way forward.

As for now? I will stick to Instagram and Facebook and—wait for it—actually talking to people in the real world. Coffee anyone?

Happy STEM projects everyone! Even you, Mr. Egg.

 

 

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