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Ramblings of a Qwitter

Hi friends! Where to begin? Well, I’m writing to an audience of ADHDers, so I’m sure you’ll be able to follow my train of thought. I’ll just jump in.

I guess I’m doing a blog now? I was listening to an episode of the podcast Beyond the To-Do List. The guest was Dave Delaney, who I had never heard of, but the host was interviewing him because he had quit social media for two months. That just sounded glorious to me and I decided I was going to do it, too, but for a little bit longer than two months: from today until the inauguration of Joe Biden on January 20th.

**IMPORTANT CAVEAT** - the ‘lesson’ or whatever at the end of this experiment is NOT going to be, ‘social media is evil.’ I LOVE Twitter. Without Twitter, I would never have met any of the lovely ADHD friends who have enriched my life. Just putting that out there. This blog is descriptive, not prescriptive.

**ANOTHER IMPORTANT THING** - if you want to get in touch with me between now and January 20th, and we’ve only ever connected via Twitter, send me a DM or comment on one of my posts!

Why am I doing this? Multiple reasons.

There is SO MUCH INSANITY happening every second. Truly, this president makes more headlines in an hour than some presidents made in their entire term. It’s mind-boggling. I don’t need to read everyone’s hot take about every wacky thing that happens. I’m going to read the dozens of books that will inevitably come out over the next few years, but I don’t want Trump to dominate my thoughts every day until then.

My brain (like yours, I bet!) runs at warp speed pretty much constantly. So as the content of each little square of Twitter content enters my brain, it sets off a chain of related thoughts and by the time I’m done scrolling, my brain feels grumpy and cluttered and sad.

Uggghhhh that dopamine though!! It’s so hard to stay away, which is why I have to do this blog—to keep me accountable. There are so many books I want to read, letters I want to write, people I want to reach out to, but I’ve noticed myself over the past few months thinking, ‘but who has the time??’ And I think... I do? I think that, if I weren’t on Twitter for several hours a day, I would have the time to do those things I say I want to do. I guess we’ll find out!

So for this first post, I'll take y’all on a tour of my brain during/after a mere 15-minute burst of Twitter. To illustrate what Twitter does to my squishy gray think-blob, I set a timer for 15 minutes and took notes on each post in my feed. Here’s what that looked like (the post descriptions are in normal text and my web/funnel of thoughts follows in italics).

  1. ADHD friend posted something cute she made. Awww! I should make more stuff. That’s a lot of work, though.

  2. Apple ad. My little sister wants me to get an iPhone because she can’t send photos to our siblings group message because two of us have Androids and two have iPhones. → But if I got one, my other sister would have to get one too, and I don’t think she wants to. → Maybe I should get an iPod Touch that’s just for texting. → Didn’t I see something online that talked about a hack for my Mac where I could set it up to send iMessages to my Android? → That sounds kind of complicated. → I hope my sister’s doing okay.

  3. ADHD Hub announcement about meal planning feature. Cool! I am so lucky my husband does the meal planning. If left to my own devices, I would subsist on cheese and cereal. And chocolate. Why do all the foods I like start with ‘c’?

  4. Dropbox ad.

  5. ADHD friend commenting on a Dani Donovan post about how it feels to have ADHD. It *is* really frustrating wanting to be able to do something and not being able to and then people think you’re lazy. → I should show this to my husband. → But he doesn’t think you’re lazy and he already knows about executive dysfunction and is really supportive and kind. → Who can I show it to, then? → Why do you have to show it to someone? → Does anyone else have these back-and-forth conversations with themselves? → Probably.

  6. Kai the Fish Guy posted a picture of a pretty fish. Ooooo, I love this pretty fish!

  7. The Nap Ministry posted about how I should rest - “you can rest; it’s a human right. You are not a machine. Honor your humanity.” Preach! Rest is very good! I tell my students to rest all the time! I should probably rest soon...

  8. ADHD friend describing what they did this morning. Hmm, I wonder how he’s doing. If I were on Discord more, I’d probably be more in the loop. But where is the time to be on Discord if I’m on Twitter so much?

  9. Someone I followed based on one tweet I enjoyed posted about a college football game (I think).

  10. A joke about ‘tablets’ (parents in 2020 BC and 2020 AD both be like, ‘kids and their tablets’). Meh.

  11. ADHD friend responding to a tweet about how being too nice is apparently a thing that freaks out the NTs and now she’s scared to do anything nice for people lest they think she’s weird. Seriously, fuck the NTs. {thinks about times this has happened to me; gets re-mad}

  12. One of those how it started / how it ended posts (someone got kicked out of school for not following their social media policy).

  13. A how it started / how’s it going post (someone got into a PhD program). Should I do a PhD? NO, we’ve been over this!

  14. Cole Haan shoe ad

  15. ADHD friend sharing Bible verse about God’s faithfulness. Amen. Should probably reflect on that more often.

  16. Opinion: Autism is not a mental health issue! Seems legit.

  17. Reflection on the importance of ADHD diagnosis. Glad that person got diagnosed and is working on understanding themselves better.

  18. Disney plus ad. Shows a picture of astronauts. Remember when the Challenger exploded? That was so awful. And they knew! The engineers knew the O-rings were going to fail! But NASA went ahead with it anyway because budgets and public expectations… money is the worst; I hate it. But also I don’t hate it because it allows me to live comfortably. But other people don’t get to live comfortably, and a lot of them work a hell of a lot harder than I do. INJUSTICE!

  19. Reflection on being glad to have gotten out of a controlling relationship. There are a lot of really horrible people in this world. I’m thankful to know so many awesome ones!

  20. Reflection on how “my life falling apart was actually a good thing” Good for that person; glad they’re feeling better. → Remember when your life fell apart? → Why yes I do, thank you brain; it was very bad. Don’t really feel like thinking about it right now.

  21. An interaction around Rene Brooks’s “clean your house” workbook. Hey, I have that! → Yup, you have it… are you using it? → I did, once… I should keep using it.

  22. A how it started / how it’s going post - MLK Jr’s daughter as a baby and now as a public speaker.

  23. QRT of a picture of Trump ‘supporters’ with a note that many are actually paid protesters. Yes friends, you read that correctly. Trump is holding a rally today, while still very likely infected with COVID. Because everything is going really well over here [insert that dog in the house on fire being like ‘everything is fine’].

  24. A joke I do not find funny.

  25. Kohl’s ad.

  26. Opinion: “We’re all going through a lot right now, but I think it will bring us closer in the end” Yeah maybe, but I don’t feel like I’m getting closer to anyone right now just staring at my phone.

  27. A picture - Costa’s hummingbird. Very pretty! I love birbs!

  28. Apparently it’s World Mental Health Day. This person is done with raising awareness. Where is the funding? Where is the action? I get it. That seems like a good point. But is funding or action going to result from this tweet?

  29. Dinosaur (@dinoman_j) posted a comic. I always enjoy these.

  30. Someone got an ADHD diagnosis. Yay! Excited for them!

  31. Autism Mom proving she is not a Bad Autism Mom™ by saying “I am not my son’s voice!” I’m sure this is a lovely person and a great mom, but this just feels performative. I’m tired.

  32. Pronamel toothpaste ad.

  33. A comic that I find neither funny nor unfunny.

  34. A comment on ADHD and romance novels.

  35. A joke.

  36. A journalist: “Imagine what they’ve [The Trump admin] done to be THIS afraid of losing an election.” Right?!?! Also, I’ve read this take in like a million different forms. I get it; we should be appalled. I am!!!

  37. Opinion - “overdraft fees are a scam.” Indeed. But like, what is gained by posting that? No shade to the OP - I would totally tweet something like that. I’m just questioning why...

  38. OnePlusUSA ad. I have no clue what this is an ad for.

  39. Someone is highlighting an article showing that women’s friendships help them “navigate the gendered workplace of academia.” I don’t love that wording. I think I would have said ‘the gendered landscape of academia’ because academia is by nature a workplace… Anyway, duh. Everyone knows friendship is good; why are you studying that?

  40. Another picture of “Trump supporters” on the White House South Lawn.

  41. A picture of an owl with its head right in front of a man’s head, so it kind of looks like the owl has bangs. Huh. Interesting.

AND THAT WAS JUST 15 MINUTES! It’s like an hour later now and I’m still thinking about the fucking Challenger explosion. No wonder I get so exhausted after being on Twitter for a while—my brain is like, HALP! I DROWNING!

In conclusion, I think I have made a good choice to give my brain a break from that wild ride. I need a nap.

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