I was thinking the other day, how sad it would be if I lost my Twitter account, because I really do find that I do most of my socializing through there…and then I lost my Twitter account.
It’s only been an hour or so, but I have to tell you I don’t feel good about not having a constant stream of information flipping past my eyes at thirty second intrivals.
For the last four years I have been switching between Twitter and Facebook, and this Blog, every single day that I can.
It’s been a much needed distraction from everything going on inside my head, which is a lot more than any human should have to ever experience…and I suspect that I am not the only one.
Especially in this time of the pandemic, Twitter, and social media in general has become a lifeline for many folks. It’s been the thing that’s keeping them alive because life outside the Twitterverse is so complex, and for many people, very, very dark.
I have amassed over 2000 followers, and many of them are people I call genuine friend, I have had countless conversations about so many topics that I’ve lost count since 2013, and I have had the best and the worst of my internet experience through Twitter.
It has been a close and dear personal friend, and today when Michael Harriot said that the best joke in the world was a Yo Momma Joke, I replied with “unless you get punched in the face.” I might have said “until.”
It wasn’t a joke – that’s a serious thing. If you’re brave enough to make a yo mamma joke, then you better be prepared to get hit in the face, because let’s be honest, you can joke about a lot of things, but you can’t ever joke about a Black man’s mother. That’s just off limits, it’s like the N word, some things you just don’t say.
I’ve been saying that since I was four years old when I used to visit my step-dad’s father Babu, he taught me that. I was his favorite and he kept me largely protected from the harsh realities of the world, unless he thought it was an important lesson that I needed to remember for always.
I told him once that I was a Princess, and he asked me what makes me a Princess, and I laughed and said “I come from Royalty. I was born English, Irish, Scottish, and Jamaican, that makes me a first blood…and everyone knows first blood is Royal blood.” At least that’s how I had in my head, and no I have no idea where I got this mentality from, it just made sense to me.
Babu would laugh and say “we’ll see,” all these years later he’s been on my mind a lot. Because he taught me a lot of harsh lessons, and he spoiled me, not as much as he wanted to, but as much as I was comfortable with. I thought asking for a chalk board for my fifth birthday was excessive, he thought it was adorable.
I wanted to be a teacher, but I knew that I’d need to be a student of life first, Babu taught me that. He also taught me that the one that I love the most would be the one to break my heart and let me down….he didn’t tell me that there would be a lot of people that I loved the most, and that I couldn’t just pick one…maybe that’s why so many of them did. I can almost hear him saying that now.
I remember us sitting in the living room as a family, my mom, my brother, our “cousins,” Babu’s wife and sisters and girlfriends and friends, and all his grandchildren. He said it was a “moment,” and that it mattered because it would never happen again that we’d all be gathered in the same room, at the same time, in the same place, together again.
He was right.
After that night the family went their separate ways, and travelled the world, they saw things, heard things, and found things, they found love, and hurt and pain. And somewhere around the world is my family, my first blood, Royal family, who adopted me and my brother because my stepdad loved us – though as it turned out, not nearly enough as he loved drugs.
There was a lot of love in that room, a lot of respect, a lot of friendship, and yeah some bitterness and resentment. You can’t have a large group of people all experiencing their own pains and traumas, and not have a little of the dark with the light. That’s just not possible.
Everyone has their own stuff, which is why it’s so important to be careful what we say and how we say it. I thought Michael Harriot would take my words understanding that I was speaking from experience, not in an attempt to cause harm, but how could he possibly have known that when he’s never known or spoken to me?
How can he know that the way I meant the words, was in regards to the story that I just told you, had I not told him that story first?
When we tell people that we should go up to random strangers and tell them to take off their mask, when we tell them that they are stupid, or childish for being afraid to catch a rather deadly disease, we aren’t taking into consideration that they have a world of experience that we don’t understand.
When we tell them that their religious practices are evil, or that they are going to go Hell for not believing in the God the way that they would, we are taking away from them everything that makes them who they are, instead of accepting that they are who they are, because they had an entire life before you existed.
I’ve been really frustrated with people lately, stuck in this “what about me?” mode, and that’s because although I’ve been considering all the things that I haven’t gotten, I haven’t really time to accept and appreciate my accomplishments.
I’ve been working so hard this last year to project the identity of someone who is genuinely on the path to healing, and I totally am that person, but I am also the person that stumbles and makes mistakes, and is still finding their way.
I am acknowledging that I make these mistakes, that I fuck up, that I say things not thinking about how it might be received, because if I don’t acknowledge them than I am going to continue to keep repeating the same patterns over and over again, instead of correcting my course, which I’ve talked about this week already.
I hurt a budsista this week because we were dealing with a similar issue, and instead of just saying that to her, I yelled at her but really I was talking to myself…because I am so frustrated with the fact that I can’t just either get over what happened to me and move on, or forgive the men who abused me and move on.
Or hell, just move the fuck on. I am done with it. It sucked, it was so damned bad, it was evil, and it hurt, and it was scary, and I was nearly murdered, I need a damned break from my past. I need to step away from Twitter, because everything is fucking documented there in one way or another.
At the very least what happened to me is for damned sure on some server deep in the bowels of the Twitter Universe, hidden in the hidden histories of every tweet that I have ever put out into the world. So my history is still there, it’s still valid, it still counts, it still happened, and I still said it.
I can’t fully ever take any of it back and I don’t fucking want to. I am proud of all the people that I got to meet through that platform, I am thrilled at all the times that I wrote something and y’all rushed over to read it, I love that so many of you inspired me to write my book, pushed me to keep going until it got published. And there is no “even though it’s self published,” naw fuck that, I educated myself through that process.
I taught myself how to do it so that I can do it again, and one day teach others how to do it…that’s power baby, I regret nothing. I am sorry that Michael Harriot thought my tweet was a personal attack but it had nothing to do with him, just the emotions his works invoked inside my head.
How I chose to release my response was and continues to be my responsibility and mine alone, but I have to tell you…I am curious to see what I’m like without Twitter for awhile.
I am excited to go on the adventure of just posting on the blog, and returning to the days when Twitter didn’t exist in my life, and it was just me and the page, and so although I am going to appeal as much as I can until I get my account back, I am going to also enjoy however long I get away from the platform.
It will give me more time to work, and to clean, and to organize, and to not have constant streams of bad news flowing into my brain every ten to thirty-seconds.
Right now I am listening to the Teskey Brothers Hold Me, and it’s kind of a goodbye song, which is sweet. You can follow me on Instagram, or check me out on Facebook, but for now this is farewell Twitter.
Sending all my love,
Devon J Hall
P.S If you still REALLY want to follow me on my new Twitter, you can do so here!