Tag: social media (page 2 of 10)

On Twitter addiction

I used to be addicted to Twitter before it was cool to be addicted to Twitter. Back when all you got was 140 characters, and I’d find myself composing tweets about my IRL experiences and find that I was basically thinking in tweet-sized chunks.

I’ve since switched most of my attention to the Fediverse (join me?) but there’s something insidious about Twitter that pulls you back in. At least turning off the algorithmic timeline (something you have to keep doing) dials down the rage a little bit…
Circle of chairs with Twitter logos

I know I’m an addict because Twitter hacked itself so deep into my circuitry that it interrupted the very formation of my thoughts. Twenty years of journalism taught me to hit a word count almost without checking the numbers at the bottom of the screen. But now a corporation that operates against my best interests has me thinking in 280 characters. Every thought, every experience, seems to be reducible to this haiku, and my mind is instantly engaged by the challenge of concision. Once the line is formed, why not put it out there? Twitter is a red light, blinking, blinking, blinking, destroying my ability for private thought, sucking up all my talent and wit. Put it out there, post it, see how it does. What pours out is an ungodly sluice of high-minded opinions, sharp rebukes, jokes, transactional compliments, and mundane bulletins from my private life (to the extent that I have one anymore).

Source: A Twitter Addict Realizes She Needs Rehab | The Atlantic

The Puritan Class

Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie reflects on sanctimonious social media:

In certain young people today… I notice what I find increasingly troubling: a cold-blooded grasping, a hunger to take and take and take, but never give; a massive sense of entitlement; an inability to show gratitude; an ease with dishonesty and pretension and selfishness that is couched in the language of self-care; an expectation always to be helped and rewarded no matter whether deserving or not; language that is slick and sleek but with little emotional intelligence; an astonishing level of self-absorption; an unrealistic expectation of puritanism from others; an over-inflated sense of ability, or of talent where there is any at all; an inability to apologize, truly and fully, without justifications; a passionate performance of virtue that is well executed in the public space of Twitter but not in the intimate space of friendship.

I find it obscene.

There are many social-media-savvy people who are choking on sanctimony and lacking in compassion, who can fluidly pontificate on Twitter about kindness but are unable to actually show kindness. People whose social media lives are case studies in emotional aridity. People for whom friendship, and its expectations of loyalty and compassion and support, no longer matter. People who claim to love literature – the messy stories of our humanity – but are also monomaniacally obsessed with whatever is the prevailing ideological orthodoxy. People who demand that you denounce your friends for flimsy reasons in order to remain a member of the chosen puritan class.

Source: IT IS OBSCENE: A TRUE REFLECTION IN THREE PARTS | Chimamanda.com

Social media is done

Ironically enough, I discovered the author Rick Wayne via his posts on the Fediverse. He’s decided that he’s done with social media, and has a new newsletter on Substack.

His old newsletter, which I signed up for only recently, doesn’t have a public-facing version I can link to. I did, however, want to share a quotation from it in which Wayne announces his new project:

Social media is done. That’s not to say it will die, but it’s not what it was just five years ago. It used to feel like we were really making friends. People would HIRL and travel to meet each other. Now, it feels like one big church potluck. We trade polite nothings with the fellows in our sect because those other people are dangerous, and let’s face it: empty promises are better than no promises at all.

Well put.