Human behavior is fascinating to me. I studied and practiced counseling, working with both individuals and groups in a few different settings, and I really enjoyed it—the parts where I was actually working with clients, anyway. The idea for the #MetsTwitter series came to me from that same general space of interest, and it came to me pretty easily.
Mets Twitter, in view of its turbulent quality and the bombastic nature of the artifacts it produces at even the slightest turn of the crank of the frenzied baseball-news cycle, is the subject of much derision. It is easy to assume the view that Mets Twitter is some sort of exasperating, monolithic swarm, but it is harder, perhaps, to remember that it comprises actual human beings. I don't say that to exonerate some of the lousy behavior that arises from the shallows of Mets Twitter, but rather to note it was my springboard to action. I wanted to observe Mets Twitter, make note of what I saw and what I thought about what I saw, and share it with readers who might be interested in pondering and discussing such things. I thought that all sounded like fun.
The thing is, I’m fed up with it. I have exhausted my interest in the subject, and I no longer feel motivated to cultivate a deeper understanding of it. I think social media is, in many ways, revolutionary, and that it does a lot of good for people who are interested in learning, sharing, creating, connecting, and discussing. Like practically anything good and useful in this life, however, if social media is used compulsively, or as a pit into which one relentlessly chucks their gripes and troubles, or as a magic balm that delivers existential healing through likes and RTs and useless arguments won, then it has probably assumed an unhealthy or destructive role in one's life.
What am I supposed to do with that? I am not the Catcher in the Rye. I am not the Mets Twitter Bodhisattva. I am not in the business of engaging people in a virtual forum who have said things ranging from the ridiculous to the hateful and trying to intervene or Make It All Okay. We all know the score. People are going to do what they do, and they have their own reasons for doing it.
Thus, logging onto Twitter in search of Metsian artifacts became an exercise in the pointless and absurd and banal. I didn’t go into this enterprise with a research question, let alone a hypothesis (which was probably a key reason for my downfall); I went into it with simple, probably naive, curiosity. Well, fine: I am no longer curious. I don’t want to spend my time looking at and trying to come up with compelling statements to make about negative, silly things.
#MetsTwitter's response to reports that the Nationals were courting Yoenis Cespedes was what sealed it for me, I think. It wasn't that I saw anything particularly outrageous or unexpected. It was legitimately unhappy news for Mets fans, and, predictably, many took to Twitter to express themselves. That was just it, though: The sheer flood of negativity on my screen did nothing to educate me, make me feel better, or foster a sense of engagement or belonging with the Mets-fan community. In the absence of any of those qualities, an image came to my mind of a groaning, heaving, bloviating Greek chorus. Whether that characterization is fair or not, it's the head space I landed in—and you know, I am just not interested in that type of cynicism. It certainly isn't what I want from my experience of being a Mets fan and writing for this site, let alone simpatico with my world view. So I guess #MetsTwitter did teach me something—or remind me of something—after all: Sometimes, you've just got to log off.