Whedon explained his reasoning in a lengthy talk with BuzzFeed. "I just thought, Wait a minute, if I'm going to start writing again, I have to go to the quiet place," he said. "And this is the least quiet place I've ever been in my life. ... It's like taking the bar exam at Coachella. It's like, Um, I really need to concentrate on this! Guys! Can you all just... I have to... It's super important for my law!"
There's a lot of negativity on Twitter, but also a lot of positivity, and both sides can mess with your head. As Whedon put it:
So many people have said mean things, but so many people have said wonderful things. But how much approbation do I need before I become creepy? I so appreciate when people took the time to say something nice. But for my own self, it's like, at some point, you're just like a little compliment leech. That's not going to help your writing any more than people slamming on you."
"Compliment leech." That's a good one. It's very true of a lot of stars, and their enabling fans, who insist on pure worship with any critic immediately deemed a "hater." So Whedon broke up with Twitter and even gave the classic It's Not You, It's Me spiel:
The real issue is me. Twitter is an addictive little thing, and if it's there, I gotta check it. When you keep doing something after it stops giving you pleasure, that's kind of rock bottom for an addict. ... I just had a little moment of clarity where I'm like, You know what? If I want to get stuff done, I need to not constantly hit this thing for a news item or a joke or some praise, and then be suddenly sad when there's hate and then hate and then hate."
He said he'd consider rejoining Twitter at some point, but he'll probably stay gone until the next big promotional blitz. Because then it would be headline news. (Not that he put it that way, but it would actually be a smart PR move.)
And while Whedon did call BS ("horsesh-t") on the rumor that militant feminists pushed him off Twitter, he does have some deep, conflicted thoughts on the whole political spectrum and backlash. It's frustrating that "Every breed of feminism is attacking every other breed, and every subsection of liberalism is always busy attacking another subsection of liberalism," however, this is not a win for anti-feminists. "I saw a lot of people say, 'Well, the social justice warriors destroyed one of their own!' It's like, Nope. That didn't happen. I saw someone tweet it's because Feminist Frequency pissed on Avengers 2, which for all I know they may have. But literally the second person to write me to ask if I was OK when I dropped out was [Feminist Frequency founder] Anita [Sarkeesian]." He praised Sarkeesian for staying on Twitter to fight back the trolls, calling it a "statement of strength and empowerment and perseverance, and it's to be lauded."
So he's not off licking his wounds. But it sounds like he's also too busy talking about why he quit Twitter to do the work he quit it for. So now that we have our explanation, let's leave him to write the next thing we can all fight about.