A number of years ago there was an Internet forum called “Topix” that was quite popular in the city we lived in at the time. The locals had found their way to this site to trash talk just about every aspect of living in the small Upstate New York city. The conversation slammed restaurants, hospitals, city officials, politicians, neighbors, friends, prostitutes, and priests. The shocking thing is a lot of this discussion named names; people’s dirty laundry was aired in an unbelievable manner. Back in the early 2010s I swore off the site as I felt that it was like walking through a sewer while wearing nothing but a fig leaf, and everyone was watching you do it.
Move ahead to 2019 and just a little bit ago I came to the realization that Twitter, at least as the way it’s represented through its algorithm to give you riveting content first, is pretty much an exercise in the same slog through the muck. Twitter became quite dank in the run up to the 2016 election, and as I think about it, probably even before then when it gave Trump a voice to carry on his Birther Conspiracy against President Obama. But revenue is revenue in the heads of many a social media CEO, and why worry about quality when you can fleece enough money from the masses and then try to cultivate a “edgy” image of a caring individual.
I’ve complained about Twitter for years but I still hold onto my original account, mainly because of the number of friends I’ve made through the haze over the years and somewhat because I wouldn’t be able to contact them any other way. In an obvious effort to rationalize my Sybil-like feels about Twitter, there is good news buried amongst the inaccurate tweets, banal memes, and reductive “analysis” that Twitter features way too often.
It’s funny that I’ve never made the comparison between that hell hole of “Topix” with Twitter, but that’s all Twitter has really become. A place where you can scream into a void and find someone that agrees with you, no matter how idiotic your screaming is (and yes, that includes my contributions to the site from time to time).
Seeing Twitter in this new light is making my gears turn again. My only concern is: where would I find access to late breaking news and how would I keep in contact with the people I have met over the years through Twitter?
I think it’s time for another Twitter-free weekend to find out.