Well, thats twitter done
Posted by Mike Kaaks11 November 2021
It took longer than I thought to wean myself off. The end began when I took up Ricky Gervais description of what happens with twitter - you end up in an echo chamber of yourself. I still log on, but all I do now is see what is trending, perhaps look at a few tweets in a topic of interest, and then get the hell out of there. Like so many things, for one on ones own or with but a few followers, making a difference doesn't happen. And by the look of it, on societal and political issues, the same applies to many who have large numbers of followers. It didn't get action on Home to Bilo, on Brittany Higgins' shocking treatment by the political machine and so on and so on.
This post is in a subset within my blog page titled Time to Make a Difference. Its been at the heart of the last seven or eight years of my life’s journey. In parallel with that journey the things that are important to me have become clearer. My politics have changed, along with my priorities for the world in which we all live.There is a problem about reaching clarity about one’s own world view in that we are often offended by contrary views. Never has this been more evident than in my brief dalliance with twitter. Most, in fact almost all of my tweets are criticisms. I can only think of one response that had the sole purpose of thanking and complimenting the author of the original tweet. The view that my twitter experience has left me with is that it is akin to shouting at the television or the radio when you hear something that raises your blood pressure.I’m not just talking about my tweeting here, it is the structure of the whole thing.
It was in the covid19 lockdown that I first moved to having a regular look in twitter. I noticed people whose posts resonated with me and so I followed them. Like almost everything in life there turned out to be two sides to this. (reminds me of the old line “there are only two types of people in the world, those who group things into two categories and those who don’t”) This filtering meant that most of what I was seeing started with something I supported, something that affirmed my views. Then as I scrolled down I saw that most of the responses where in opposition to that view. Many times these were expressed in the pejorative or just with a selection of expletives. Any that supported the original tweet got a heart from me. These tiny moments of solidarity for the cause gave a little peace that there are like minded souls out there and we are together here. But then the penny dropped, unless I and those people I was affirming have thousands of followers this is just a scream at the TV. The world does not hear it.
Twitter, unless I devoted myself to making the building of a following my life’s work, was not going to be a place where my involvement defaulted into making a difference. My first reaction to that realisation was to consider limiting myself to positive tweets. No more pointing out the flaws in people’s arguments, no more calling for more civil behaviour, no more doing things that have the unwanted consequence of giving more oxygen to the things I am railing against which really is a bit half baked.
Which brings me back to the search for actions that will make a difference, a search that will continue without twitter.