It’s the most wonderful time of the year to stop tweeting.
People all around the world are coming together to vow they will not be on social media over the holidays.
The annual Yuletide logging off has become a grand new tradition – a mass exodus of those “taking a break from Twitter” who “won’t be checking social media” until the new year.
It makes perfect sense. Christmas – with its stress, arguments and pointless fights – can be in many ways, nothing but Twitter in real life. So why double up? Last week, the actor Lili Reinhart summed up the general mood when she signed off “toxic” Twitter and announced it was “like a cesspool for evil”.
But it’s equally as cliched that everyone will break their vow immediately – or at least spend the whole time scrolling under the table.
Nevertheless, across the world, people began logging off.
Former Breaking Bad actor Aaron Paul announced it too, in more muted terms. On Sunday night, the UK Labour peer Andrew Adonis disagreed, and struck the most defiant, and perhaps funniest, tone of the season.
But any Twitter break is a vow made to be broken, as seen in this faux-logging off post from Queensland Labor senator Anthony Chisholm.
And the number of people who have “taking a break” in their display name, but who are nevertheless still tweeting.
The louder you proclaim taking a break from Twitter, the sooner you will be back.
Even the New Zealand ministry of foreign affairs lied to us. “We’ll be taking a break,” it said on Friday.
It was back two days later – telling us to get a working holiday visa for Japan.
Guardian Australia’s own columnist Greg Jericho fell victim too. Fittingly, it was so he could tweet a graph.
So for all the bluster, logging off is really one of the most pointless announcements you can make, as many on Twitter themselves pointed out:
On Friday, Nikki Usher wrote in Slate that the “taking a break” message was so ubiquitous because it is the only effective way to set an away or out-of-office reply on social media.
Whatever the reason, the Christmas log-off is a proper modern tradition. Magical, hopeful and impossible. We’ll see you back online soon.