Written by John Boyne on the November 1st,2019
For those readers who are looking for my Twitter and Instagram accounts, I made the decision to close both permanently on Hallowe’en 2019.
Since the publication of my YA novel ‘My Brother’s Name is Jessica’ in early 2019, I’ve been subjected to so much vitriol and rudeness on social media that it reached the point when I found it too toxic an environment for me. I realised how badly it was affecting my mental health. The people who criticised me, virtue-signallers all, delighted in calling me names, making death threats, abusing me and my family, while maintaining that they, of course, are the good guys.
In reality, these people are cowards and bullies, as evidenced by the occasions when I’ve met them in public and they haven’t had the courage of their convictions, behaving as if they’re my friend and they’ve never said a wrong word.
The writers I identify with the most, particularly the Irish writers I identify with the most, have no social media presence, relying on their books to speak for them. They don’t troll for likes or followers and they don’t spend their time abusing strangers online. It’s in their company that I am happy to find myself from now on.