I hate having a locked Twitter account. It is intensely irritating that I can’t reply to people in my timeline who don’t follow me back, if I reply to a mention which includes non-followers they don’t see it and probably think I’m ignoring them, people often assume having a locked account means I’m up my own arse and full of my own self-importance. I am passionate about sharing information and I’m a right bloody chatterbox so being behind a locked door doesn’t sit well with me at all.
I have to protect my tweets because I am being harassed by someone who appears to only understand Twitter as a means with which to make me life hell. This began back in January, I wrote my first blog post about it. All went quiet for some time and I began to put my life back together. At the beginning of the summer I hit a major depressive episode and had time off work with it. I began to recover and went back to work to be told that The Person had written again, this time using any tweets that referred to me leaving the house, drinking and socialising as evidence that I was in fact faking depression and asking my employers to investigate the claim. I still don’t know how The Person knew I was signed off with depression as I never explicitly said it on Twitter. Creepy, eh? I know depression is an often misunderstood condition, so I blogged about it in a bid to explain that being sociable and being depressed aren’t mutually exclusive.
Knowing your every move is being tracked by someone with a grudge against you is unnerving in the extreme. I share a lot, that’s the way I am so what could I do? Delete another account, not tweet anything relating to my personal life or say fuck The Person and continue to tweet openly and publically? Much as I wanted to do the latter I just couldn’t - this is my mental health and career we’re talking about here, not a crusade for open comms - so I locked my account and went through my 570 or so followers, forensically checking them to see if I could identify The Person. I couldn’t so I blocked 226 of them and felt like the biggest bitch going.
Obviously the police are involved although given that their main response has been essentially “dur, leave Twitter stoopid” I don’t hold out much hope of them being particularly useful. My employer is indeed investigating the claim that I have been faking depression – you can imagine how helpful that is in terms of making a full recovery from a major mental health episode – and I still have a locked Twitter account and will probably have to continue to have one for the foreseeable future; until either The Person gets bored, I stop being such an open person or, as currently seems most likely, I have a complete mental breakdown and get carted away to the nearest psychiatric unit.