You might say this was the year of Twitter. Thanks to a certain narcissist in Washington, D.C., there’s been renewed interest in the platform. And an almost pathological need (at least on my part) to be on the platform more than I have in the past.
Twitter has always been my favorite social media. I had the @travelsofadam Twitter account before I even thought to buy a domain of the same name. And despite what people might try to say about Twitter, I still believe it’s one of the best online platforms for creating genuine connections.
There’s still a lot of problems with Twitter, of course. Bots and hate-speech seem to be a valued currency on the platform, but I’m going to try and see the positive. Twitter has led revolutions on the left and the right; personally, it’s led to countless friendships and I wouldn’t be as active online (and offline) without it.
Tweets are just a natural part of my language these days. My drafts folder on my phone is literally full of half-composed tweets, ones I’m too embarrassed to send and others I probably shouldn’t—but needed to write down just in case.
So, with my renewed interest in Twitter, and the close of the year, I decided to take a peek at my analytics. I’ve averaged nearly 600 tweets per month—most of that at or below the one-time limit of 140 characters. It’s a lot of words.
I thought it’d be fun to take a look at my top tweets of the year. They provide a surprising amount of insight into what I was doing and how I was feeling—a little snapshot of my year…
Top Tweets of 2017
I wonder if I stopped calling myself a writer and started calling myself an artist – maybe then I'd get your attention 🤔
— Adam Groffman 🏳️🌈 (@travelsofadam) January 6, 2017
Born out of a bit of frustration (what tweet isn’t?!), I proclaimed myself an artist for the year. That, in turn, led to me promptly updating my Twitter bio to declare myself an artist (sort of). I feel that I used to be an artist—back in Boston when I was working as a graphic designer, art was a part of my everyday life. But since transitioning into being a travel writer, art has taken a step back in my world and that’s been for the worse.
In January, I pretty much decided to bring art back into my life and that manifested itself in a number of ways. First off, I started thinking of myself as an artist as much as a writer. I think that’s what led to more creativity in my work as a whole (which helped to get me two prestigious travel writing awards this year!). It’s all in self-perception.
— Adam Groffman 🏳️🌈 (@travelsofadam) February 17, 2017
After Trump’s inauguration, my already sour mood worsened. Twitter back then was pretty depressing, so I think my excerpt from the McSweeny’s article was a bit of much-needed relief. Plus a healthy intersection between my loves for travel writing and politics.
— Adam Groffman 🏳️🌈 (@travelsofadam) March 10, 2017
It’s not often that I post a video to Twitter, but animals in Australia are always deserving of the attention.
Here for the sunset I swear 😍 pic.twitter.com/w71pX3eDcy
— Adam Groffman 🏳️🌈 (@travelsofadam) April 2, 2017
In April I spent a week in southern Spain on a one-week language course (read more). I started this thread during sunset one evening early in my trip because, honestly, the sunset colors in Andalusia are absolutely incredible. White buildings, blue water and a fiery sun. The locals on the beach weren’t bad either haha
Just had my very first ride in a @TeslaMotors and I'm in love 😍 pic.twitter.com/nZ81SvnYao
— Adam Groffman 🏳️🌈 (@travelsofadam) May 10, 2017
Oh, a selfie. Don’t mind me. During my week-long trip in Phoenix I spent a lot of time in the sun—there was hiking through the desert mountains and lounging by the pool, but my brief ride in a Tesla seemed to attract the most attention. I wonder why?
— Adam Groffman 🏳️🌈 (@travelsofadam) June 30, 2017
On June 30, 2017, Germany legalized same-sex marriage. One of the last countries in Europe to do so. My tweet generated A LOT of attention and even ended up being featured in a Deutsche Welle article.
Words you need to know for @grindr in the U.K. 😈🇬🇧
— Adam Groffman 🏳️🌈 (@travelsofadam) July 30, 2017
The last weekend of July I spent in Manchester, England. Following the terrorist attack at the Arianna Grande concert, VisitManchester invited nearly a hundred influencers and instagrammers to visit the city. While I used my time there to get some updates for my Manchester Hipster Guide, I also made friends with a lot of Manchester and English locals—and subsequently got all the local tips I really needed.
— Adam Groffman 🏳️🌈 (@travelsofadam) August 17, 2017
Early this day I started compulsively listening (life of a computer addict) to Camila Cabello’s hit single, Havana. A few hours after I posted my tweet, it started hitting the top of all the charts—Spotify, iTunes, UK, USA, suddenly it was everywhere. Coincidence? I think not.
We better fucking hear about these emails for the next 18 months…. drag them until the next election
— Adam Groffman 🏳️🌈 (@travelsofadam) September 26, 2017
News broke this day about too many of Trump’s staff using private email servers—a popular subject during the 2016 election, ugh. I responded as every responsible person did: a mix of anger and outrage that there seemed to be a double standard. Seemed to strike a chord with all of us.
How to find peace:
1. Go to the sea
2. Touch the water
3. Listen to the waves
4. Smell the sea
— Adam Groffman 🏳️🌈 (@travelsofadam) October 15, 2017
October was one of my busiest travel months all year. I was in Mallorca, Spain when I composed this tweet. After weeks of traveling, and weeks more ahead of me, I needed a bit of zen.
— Adam Groffman 🏳️🌈 (@travelsofadam) November 19, 2017
I celebrated my birthday this year the best way I could—with my sister and brother-in-law in Geneva. My sister, knowing me all too well, surprised me with my favorite cake and some of our mom’s best recipes. It was a real holiday—maybe my first of the year?—where I could truly relax and not worry about anything.
What if I don't want a tax cut, but instead want clean water, affordable education, healthcare, protections for LGBT people, net neutrality, equal pay for women, safety from guns, and hope that our planet will survive?
— Adam Groffman 🏳️🌈 (@travelsofadam) December 2, 2017
Okay, December isn’t over yet but I think it’d be hard to beat this tweet. It’s been a long, hard year for a lot of us. I’ve been watching the world seemingly crumble under an oppressive regime and I’m pretty much over it. One year of a Trump presidency and a Republican-controlled congress is one year too long.
I’ve been living outside of the USA since 2010 and every year I’m away, it seems more and more difficult. Watching my country crumble from afar is not easy. Of course I’ve tried to do what I can from here, but too many times I feel like I’m too distant from the country and the culture—both physically and mentally.
Twitter has often provided those much needed connections to my home and I suspect it’ll continue to be in 2018.
Follow me on Twitter, duh, for more of my tweets—a healthy mix of political commentary, silly selfies and travel snippets.