I don’t want to talk about or even think about Twitter (or as I call it, the Site of Damnation) any more than strictly necessary, so I’ll make this brief. I left the platform a couple weeks ago because the realtime nature of it was unhealthily addictive to me, was taking up extraordinary amounts of my time, and was incredibly stressful to the point of adversely affecting my health. At the height of it, I realized I had been unknowingly chewing sores into my lips and tongue while coping with days of targeted harassment. After leaving I almost immediately realized I didn’t even want to go back, and there was essentially no reason to do so — fundamentally, it is a second-by-second update of everything to get upset about in the world. Participating meant being incentivized to seek applause by constantly adding to the negativity and sharing more for people to become upset about. Of course it wasn’t healthy for me to be exposed to that environment; who would look at that
and say “this is a daily experience I would love to have”? The platform is structurally poisonous.
I had nearly 11,000 followers on there and some were concerned at my sudden cold-turkey disappearance. I really appreciate that very much and it was incredibly kind of all of you who’ve reached out to me. So: Yes, I am okay. I’m more than okay, because its absence isn’t actually a deficiency in my life at all. This has been an unambiguous improvement – removing the Damnation Site has freed not just my time, energy, and moods, but in some ways even my self. Within a couple days after leaving, I just started to feel so much more like the old me. Resources that had been dedicated to optimizing some performative incessant outrage were now available once again, and new ideas for my actual content suddenly started appearing almost effortlessly. It’s been so much easier to see things that really should have been obvious, like various ways of optimizing my assets online, expanding the resources I make available to others, and just improving my productivity generally. Of course it would have been such a better choice all along to invest in building what matters and what I enjoy and what comes naturally to me — but the platform had constantly occupied so much of my brainspace that I just never really had the time to think about it all.
It’s almost as if I needed to be reminded: I can do things simply because I want to, because they are good ideas, because I’m allowed to take time to invest in myself and my own life. There is no sense in which I was ever obligated to exist only as a conduit to funnel perpetual negativity to thousands of others. If people were choosing to follow me, it was because they were simply interested in who I am and what I choose to bring to the world — not just another to-the-minute feed of the awfulness that saturates nearly everything else. And if that many people want to follow me, I want to do so much better for them.
Currently, I’m working on accelerating the Gender Analysis
production process so that videos take far less time and recording and editing are less of a bottleneck. I’m closing YouTube comments because being a vaguely-semi-public-ish “figure” entails no responsibility whatsoever to let vocally hostile people exist in the vicinity of yourself and your work. I’ve been continuing the More Trans
subseries (think of it as Less Wrong
philosophy plus Zinnia’s transfeminism — it works better than you might expect!) with a recent entry on Johns Hopkins
and the importance of evidence over selective rhetoric. I also have two new posts
covering the medical necessity of youth transition and why critics of this are misinformed, and I plan to provide additional “fact sheets” on this topic and others. I’m actually paying attention to my analytics, and given how many people arrive at the Gender Analysis site by searching for information on the phenomenology of dysphoria
and locations of HRT providers
, I’m working to make the blog more discoverable in search, more socially shareable, and overall more accessible to readers. In the longer term, I’ve been in contact with publishers who’ve asked me to develop a book-format version of Gender Analysis concepts, which I’ve tentatively titled “Gender Synthesis: Understanding Gender and Complex Systems in Society”.
Altogether, there’s a great deal lined up here, and I feel like I finally have the personal resources and stability of health to carry it out. I feel like I have so much more to look forward to. And I hope I can give you something to look forward to as well. Thank you, to all of you.