Social media changed a lot of things, but human nature it could not. I never was a fan of Twitter (though I am a fan of Ello), and I mostly just repost things from this web site and my Ello page where my focus has been on fiction and Matriarchal Storytelling: the way it is set up is subtle, but fundamentally different and more productive than it first appears.
Twitter is a hybrid of tribalism and a schoolyard playground where people bully people who do not think or act like them. It breeds ideological bigotry, and reaction without proof or reflection. We have blue checkmarks to verify people, but none to verify what it said has any truth or merit to it. I am not impressed.
But it's free and an easy way to dump your rage, hoping that it gets validated.
It is a real Troll Scroll, however. People congregate into little groups and vent -- or hawk their stuff.
But to feed that beast takes a lot of effort, and the returns aren't as glorious as it first appears.
For one, you need to get your friends to cheerlead you incessantly to get the ball rolling. Finding like-minded people to applaud you is time-consuming. Like a Ponzi scheme, you keep having to recruit new suckers to play along, except people either spend all of their free time on it, or eventually realize it is a life sink and drift away back to Facebook.
Twitter is a great place for PR shills to post under various accounts as celebrities outsource their Tweets to assistants and ghost writers.
But mostly, it's those pesky bots and fake followers that inflate Twitter's influence. People look at the number of "followers" someone claims to have, and then assume that person has clout.
Cult-hopping, as it were, never realizing most of the flock are just mannequins propped up for show.
It's one of the reasons I never cared for Twitter: it is mostly by-the-numbers drowning-out shouts that prove nothing. It is driven by fear and hatred. I always wondered what would happen if people couldn't choose to follow who they wanted -- they would sign up, be placed in a pool of 10,000 random followers, and then every few months, the clique would dissolve and you get thrown in with a new batch of 10,000 people. It would be more nomadic and unpredictable. Left, Right, Rich, Poor, Black, White, Famous, Mundane -- you never would know the configuration, and you'd be exposed to different thoughts and views, and before you had the chance to break in a group, the group would no longer exist.
That's what the idealistic view of Twitter was once upon a time: exposure to a greater audience that you once had to way of accessing. Social media was the way to expand our knowledge and experience, but there were no actual rigs to ensure it.
The advanced technology forgot about those inner cavemen and cavewomen who became afraid of that vast frontier called planet Earth and then started building their various ideological colonies in the caves.
Twitter reminds me a lot of the evolution of religious beliefs: the ancient world had an endless list of deities, and then the modern age just threw those gods aside and went to a single deity.
Millions of people on Twitter, but the focus has now been on The One.
The One who won the White House using Twitter.
7.4 billion people, and the monomania took over in only a decade. That is quite a feat.
No wonder there is frustration and stagnation: tweets are cheap.
We could have had the rise of all sorts of new political ideology, for instance. We could have opened up new ways of telling stories, a new way of doing journalism.
We have apps that invade our privacy, and we have a billion permutations of Bejewelled. Uber did change the way we get around town as we find a way to earn a few extra dollars playing chauffeur to strangers.
But Twitter never did what it could have done. It is repetitive and didn't actually evolve or progress thought. It gave the illusion that your opinion matters, even if it doesn't. It is a mirage.
And I have no uses for things that do not actually exist...