Snippet: Coming to Terms With Twitter ☇

Shared on November 11, 2017

Gabe Weatherhead for Macdrifter:

Without any humor or reluctance, I can say that Twitter is not healthy for me. This is a hard thing to admit. I’ve met some of my best friends through Twitter. I learned of major world events and new episodes of Adventure Time. I’ve seen enormous kindness and terrible betrayal through the lens of Twitter. Maybe this is the problem. It’s impossible to comprehend the variety of human experiences I need to interpret while scanning Twitter. Yet, Twitter is far from a magnifying lens. It’s more like a kaleidoscope or a fun mirror. It’s showing what humans pretend to be when we perform for each other. The greatest attractor in social technology is the grotesque exaggeration. We love to see the extreme. We eagerly drool when our view of the world is stroked and we are told that we are the righteous minority.

I have found that I’m having a hard time reconciling some of the irresponsible, stupid crap Twitter does as a company, the meta complaints about the service on the service itself, the amazing bits of knowledge shared, and the wonderful people I have gotten to know just a bit more. It’s a shame because it seems that a lot of social networks are terrible and have felt even worse over the last year, yet there isn’t somewhere else to go. I mostly swore off Facebook a few years back, and while Twitter isn’t doing some of the creepy things that Facebook has done, the company as a whole feels very tone-deaf.

At an event at my alma mater, Twitter’s Biz Stone once compared the service with ice cream, essentially that there may not feel like there’s a point, but it’s enjoyable. That analogy has been in back of my mind recently, with the context of the more toxic aspects of Twitter. It seems more like it’s ice cream that is made by killing puppies—there are certainly moments of pleasure with the end result, but you also feel pretty dirty and wrong when you think about what goes into it.

At this point, I’m not deleting my account or stopping use completely, but I may make a more conscious effort to scale back and even leave it off of some devices.

Snippets are posts that share a linked item with a bit of commentary.