On Nov. 8, 2016, Donald Trump was elected president of the United States and I made the horrible mistake of turning on mobile notifications for his Twitter account.
It seemed like a logical decision for any human that works in media, or simply wants to stay up-to-date on American politics for that matter, but little did I know it would ruin the next year of my life, destroying the peaceful mornings and relaxing weekends that were crucial to my wellbeing.
In the 365 days since Trump’s victory, he’s tortured his Twitter followers, frequently using his account to fire off unhinged rants, personally attack his enemies, and even threaten nuclear war. But for those brave souls out there who’ve got Trump mobile notifications enabled, the past year has been so, soooo much worse.
For starters, he fires off many of these tweets at the most inopportune times: weekdays before the majority of us have even had a chance to sip our morning coffee, or on Saturdays and Sundays, when we should be mentally recharging to take on another week of dumbfounding political news.
Good morning, 2017! *throws phone*
Monday through Friday my alarm goes off at 5:00 a.m. ET. I reach for my phone as I bat the sleep from my eyes, and if I’m really lucky, Trump hasn’t tweeted yet. It’s when I start my commute that the nightmare usually begins.
Over the past 12 months I’ve noticed it takes until around 6:30 a.m. ET for those tiny old Twitter fingers to really kick into gear — but without fail, most days I arrive at the train station to an average of one to four infuriating 140-character messages from our country’s leader looming on my phone’s lock screen.
According to the Trump Twitter Archives, since Election Day 2016 Trump has sent hundreds of tweets between midnight and 9:00 a.m. ET, which means that he’s busy causing damage before most people even make it to their offices. In 2015 researchers at the Harvard Business Review partnered with Arianna Huffington to examine the effects of news stories on emotions and found that consuming negative news can make people less effective at work. In fact, starting your morning with negative news has the power to disrupt your entire day.
In the early hours before caffeine has even touched my lips Trump’s done some seriously troubling things like attempt to ban transgender people from the military, insult media outlets, retweet violent memes and messages relating to fascism, and so much more. Mobile Twitter notifications alert me of these nightmares the minute they happen, ensuring I have a bright (read: DEEPLY DARK) start to the work day.
If I know certain tweets are inevitably coming — like Trump finally addressing his “covfefe” typo — and see my phone light up in my cupholder on the drive to the train station, I feel the need to pause my commute to read his absurd thoughts.
The notifications are dreadful, but I can’t look away. And though one might assume the weekends offer some shred of solace, they most definitely do not.
On Friday nights when I’m attempting to destress from an exhausting week, Trump is there — blowing up my phone while I’m out to dinner with friends, watching a movie, or trying to turn in early.
And on Saturdays and Sundays his stressful tweets are often the first things I, and so many others, see upon waking up. The gloriously negative start to the day subsequently entices me to go back to sleep, and serves as a despair-filled reminder that politics still exist, even when the office is closed.
can you chill it’s Saturday
— Austin Braun 🦃 (@AustinOnSocial) October 21, 2017
On weekends when Trump’s hands aren’t gripping a golf club he can be found on Twitter — not tweeting about exciting weekend plans, but insulting Civil Rights leaders, bashing his former opponent Hillary Clinton, misspelling and deleting the most basic of words, threatening to have NFL players fired, and accusing Barack Obama of wiretapping him — to name a few.
It’s gotten to the point where I live in constant fear of what and when he’ll tweet next.
It’s not just me, okay? Americans are stressed.
Though I can often be found screaming at the sky demanding to know how someone who can’t even successfully proofread 140 (let alone 280) characters before hitting a button is allowed to run an entire country, I’m not the only one stressing out about Trump.
A recent report from the American Psychological Association called “Stress in America: The State of Our Nation,” determined that 63 percent of Americans are concerned about the future of this country, and an October poll from Quinnipiac University found that 70 percent of American voters think Trump should stop tweeting from his personal account.
While it’s unlikely everyone has signed on to receive the added horror of Trump mobile notifications, I can personally attest that if the president wasn’t sending an average of seven tweets a day this year and I wasn’t getting those notifications I would be significantly more relaxed.
11 minutes of salvation
On Friday, Nov. 3, 2017, my dream came true and for a few blissful moments Donald Trump’s Twitter account ceased to exist. Sure it was only for 11 minutes, but I reveled in them, as they were the only guaranteed notification-free minutes of my entire year.
My Twitter account was taken down for 11 minutes by a rogue employee. I guess the word must finally be getting out-and having an impact.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 3, 2017
In the past people have begged Twitter to disable Trump’s account after several of his tweets appeared to violate the platform’s rules, but following the mysterious disappearance of Trump’s account the company confirmed that one of its employees, who was finishing up his last day, was in fact responsible.
To this heroic human, I give my profound thanks. And as for you, Mr. Trump — while it’s become abundantly clear you don’t give a damn if people want to ease into their days or enjoy their weekends, for the next three-ish years is there any way you could possibly try to, IDK, chill?!