About a year-and-a-half ago, I wrote a column about Why I hate Twitter. Actually, I kind of have a love-hate relationship with the social network — but I was reminded of the potential downside when I read a recent New York Times piece on the push-back Lost co-creator Damon Lindelof received.
After the final episode,
The show’s most vocal fan contingent was not pleased. After the finale, they took to Twitter, where Lindelof was an active and lively presence, to tell him how he ruined their favorite show and wasted six years of their lives.
See the irony? Had Lindelof not had “an active and lively presence” on Twitter, this problem wouldn’t have been nearly as bad. In a sense, he was punished disproportionately because he had made himself available to his fans (and thus, vulnerable to them) while seeking their feedback.
The story continues:
“The tweets were unbearable,” his wife, Heidi Fugeman Lindelof, told me. “ ‘You ruined the last six years of my life?’ He was flogging himself constantly.” Then came the finale of “Breaking Bad,” which he watched at his house with Peter Berg, an executive producer on “The Leftovers.” Following the episode, Lindelof signed onto Twitter to say how much he loved the show and to read other fans’ reactions. His whole feed, however, was full of fans spurred by the finale of “Breaking Bad” to start in all over again on “Lost.”
That’s when he knew he’d had it. “I’m inviting it,” he realized. If he was calling himself an idiot, “then you’re allowed to call me an idiot.” Lindelof quite intentionally deleted the account on Oct. 14, which is the date of the Sudden Departure in “The Leftovers.” This was his last tweet: “After much thought and deliberation, I’ve decided t” — ending in midsentence.
Some of this, no doubt, is indicative of how many artists are quite sensitive — being simultaneously narcissistic and filled with self doubt.
Still, I suspect this is a phenomenon that creative people and public personalities are going to have to learn to manage from here on out. And it may be that, to preserve their sanity (and creative juices), some will have to make themselves less accessible than they otherwise might have been.
And, for some, that might even mean deleting their accounts.