What If We Stopped Going On Twitter – The Awl

What If We Stopped Going On Twitter – The Awl

Aradicalidea,I?

know。

Image:freestocks。

orgviaUnsplash(artby?

Silvia)

Allgoodthingsmustcometoanend。

Likeclassicrestaurants,oldNewYorkneighborhoods,andthelivesofourfavoriteentertainers。

I’msorrybutit’strue,andit’snotveryfuntoadmitbecauseitmeansnoonecaresaboutyourpreachytweetsabouthowmuchsomeoneorsomethingmeanttoyou,atleastforthetimeduringwhichyouwereawareofthatthing,becauseultimately,intheperformanceofyourlife,everythingisabout?

you。

Speakingofpreachytweets,youknowwhatdeservestodie?

Twitter。

It’shadagoodrun,MalcolmGladwellgottomakesomethought-writeringaboutwhethertweetscanorcannotdosociopoliticaljustice,andtheservicehelpedspreadthenewsjustlikeFredEbbimagined,I’msure。

I’mnotevensayingthatTwitterhasn’tsavedlivesormadepeople’scareersorsavedthedaybymakingasmallchildlaugh。

Butthatdoesn’tmeanitstimehasn’t?

come。

YouknowwhatI’dratherreadthanTwitter?

Literallynothing,asin—I’dbemuchhappierandmoreatpeacestaringintoablankwallthanlookingateveryone’stweets。

I’dalsoratherreadamillionTwitterobituaries,andthennotfeelbereftatallthatIdon’thavesomewheretoargueaboutwhatthisonemissesversuswhatthatoneoverlooks,screenshotsandall。

Thisisnotentirelyrelatedtowakingupeachmorningandloadinguptheappwithgreattrepidation,“OhGod,what’shesayingtoday”—andworse—“whatiseveryonesayingaboutwhathe’ssaying?

”Butit’snotunrelatedeither。

Rememberthegingers?

Theboyswhousedtoworkhere?

They’retweet-deleters。

Mattstillcreepfaves,whichisjustweakifyouaskme,butIgetit。

Igetthedraw。

It’snicetolaughinbetweenchokingonyourownspit。

“Timeisaprivacysetting,”wrote?

Herrman:

Twitterisamassiverollingcontextexperiment,itsconversationsandsubjectsandaudiencesmaterializinganddisintegratingconstantly;asingleuser’sTwitterarchiveisaseriesofpermanentandpubliccontributionstodiscussionsthathavelongsinceended。

Auser’spostsreferencingtheOscarsalsoreferenceotherusers’postsfromthesametime,andareexperiencedfirstinfulltranscript。

Inthearchives,however,eachspeakerisisolatedtothepointofincoherence。

Twitterisultimatelyagiantchattranscript,andwealllooklikeidiots。

Don’tgetmeawrongI’mnotsayingI’mnotanidiotforparticipatinginthis,becauseIam。

Weallare。

ButI’mreallycuriousaboutwhatitwouldlooklikeifwejustvoluntarilystopped。

Wehaveotherplaceswecanchatnow,likeworkSlacks,andfriendSlacks,andsecretgossipSlacks。

IfTwitterwentawayovernight,wewouldbefine。

Trustme。

You’dfindsomewhereelsetobeaself-awareimpressionofabadstandupcomic,Ipromise。

YoucouldtakeittoFacebook。

ButTwitterisn’tgoingawayovernight,it’sjustnot。

Let’sbereal,Twitterprobablyisn’tjustgoingtodierightnowwhenweneeditto,andIdon’tthinkit’srighttomurderiteither,andmuchasIdreamaboutitatnight,roguehackersprobablycan’tdenythewholeserviceinonefellswoop,atleastnotforlong(please,God,evenjust,like,asummerblackoutof2003-type-situationwouldbe?

good)。

WhatisitthatseparatesTwitterfromPeachandMastodonandTikTokandVinealltheothermade-upsocialnetworksthataresortofbutnotquiteiterationsoftheonlythingonlinehaseverwanted,achatroom(withbells/whistles/video)?

Notthetechnology,that’sforsure。

No,it’stheeyeballsandthesize—thenumbers,theaudience,AKAtheidiotpeoplewhouseit。

Youandme,buddy。

Wearetheproblem。

Justbecausewestillgothere。

Asalways,YogiBerrahasthe?

answer。

Sowhatifwejuststoppedshowing?

up?

Honestly,IthinkleavingTwitterisgoingtobethenextbig“stopeatingmeat”—anethicalandsomewhattorturouslydifficultintellectualdecisionwhoseadvantagesaresopainstakinglyobviousandgoodfortheplanetthatnoonewilldoitbecausethatwouldmaketoomuchsenseandalsoitfeelsgood(thoughofcourseit’sslowlykillingyou)。

Youcanbetthattheearlyadoptersofthisstrategywilllorditovertherestofusrighteously,andyoucanbetIwilllaughmyheadoffwhenIseetheyneverreallyleftatall,theyarejustsilentlyfavingfromafarminUtah,stilladdictedas?

ever。

Ihavefriendswho’veleftTwitterandfailed,repeatedly。

Orthey’vecomeupwithcopingstrategies,likeunfollowingeveryone,oronlylookingatTwitterattheirdeskandnotontheirphones。

Thisapparentlyhelps,butnotenough。

Thisistheequivalentofeatingonlyethicallyfarmedmeatthathadanameandahobbyandeggsthatwereallowedtomatureontheirownterms。

It’sniceforyouandtheotherpeoplewhocanaffordthenouveauwhiteflightHudsonlifestyle,butit’snotgoingtomakeadentinthenumbers。

IusedtouseTwittertoseewhatwasgoingon,butnoweverythingisgoingonallthetimeandsomuch(h/thorse_ebooks)thatit’salljustajumbleofsexpolitikand?

(theemojifor“This。

”)。

ButsomepeoplesucceedatleavingTwitter(Hi,MalloryOrtberg)。

AmIbitterbecauseIcan’tleavebecauseI’veneverreallytriedbecauseit’sbasicallyunthinkable,andmylivelihoodisbasicallychainedtothetrafficprovidedthroughsocialchannelsthatdependinpartonthewittinessofthecapsulesummaryofastoryprovidedonTwitter?

Sure。

DoIsuspectthatwewouldbejustfinewithoutTwitterandwewouldmakedowiththelesserimitationsandsubstitutes,andthatwemightevenlookbackfondlyonthatcyanlogothatusedtomeansomuchtous,eventhoughinfactnothingwouldeverbethesameandnoneofitwouldfeelquiteasgoodasacigarettebutitwouldstillbetechnicallybetterforusinthelongrun,likequittingdrugsorredmeat?

Youbetyour?

ass。

DoIknowforafactthatwecan’t,wejustcan’tdoit,becausethesmellofchickennuggetsonasubwaycarisjustsoirresistible,andourbodiesareweak,andwejustlovethepull?

Don’taskme,Istilleat?


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