It was early during the pandemic lockdown I was chatting with Scott Belsky, a long-time friend who is now the chief product officer of Adobe. We talked about products that would emerge as heroes or villains from the pandemic, and he predicted that Twitter would be on the debit side of the ledger.
Every time I check out Twitter, I can hear Scott’s voice — Twitter has become a cesspool. Despite my best efforts, I ended up caught in the slipstream of negativity, anger, and just a feeling of righteous dissatisfaction.
Elon Musk is wrong on this one — Twitter is no public square. It is a babel of loudness. Whatever it is, Twitter is not a social network. It isn’t even social media — it is a personalized propaganda network.
In my effort to cope with Twitter — at present my only “social” platform — I have been liberally using the mute button. I feel it is the best feature of Twitter as it is the only way a participant can reduce the noise and the annoyances. I, for one, find it easier to mute folks than deal with the drama of blocking someone. And it is also something that one can undo at an opportune moment. I sincerely hope the Twitter team can help bolster “mute” with more powers.
We need it. Everyone wants to be Musk-lite. As the saying goes, the more you say, the less you are heard. As I have started to avoid news and social media, I have taken refuge in work. These are turbulent times for our founders, and I hope to give some solace to those feeling nervous.
However, for my personal and intellectual salvation, I am spending time connecting with interesting people. I have started working through a stack of books piled up on my nightstand. My journal is overflowing with many little notes to myself. There are quite a few post-its with random thoughts and one-liners for future reference. Who knows that someday these notes might find their way into a future essay.
Talking about writing, I immensely enjoyed this short little piece by Shawn Blanc about coasting in life, which according to him means that you are either:
living off the momentum of your past effort; or
being pulled/pushed along by someone else.
It is easy to fall into that trap, especially when you transition. I found myself in that state of stasis when I knew I was working for others at the end of my term as a journalist. It was a signal to transition into a new life as an entrepreneur. The same feeling gripped me before I took a step into investing. I do feel the same way right now — something new awaits. Though I am short on details, I have started to sketch the future. Regardless of what it will be, it will involve words — a lot of words, both written and spoken.
May 25, 2022. San Francisco.
3 thoughts on “Garbage”
Twitter, whatever it is?
It’s no mystery. The answer is in plain sight. Twitter is just an electronic version of an outhouse wall. Anyone can write anything on it and the “visitor” can make of it whatever he or she wants it to mean. People who twitter are “TWITTERBATORS” as what they do is the ultimate manifestation of self absorbtion.
Musk is a petulant child who recently discovered he enjoys twitterbating more than he does running his companies. It’s that simple.
Sadly, you are right. I have started to devolve a bunch. There is such cadence and tenor to it — no matter the topic or community — that makes Twitter optimized for “outrage.” I have seen it across the communities and subjects, and it is either outrage or absolute sycophancy. I have been trying to curate a list of positive accounts to allow in my information flow. It is a lot of work, and it can be done, but the chain of smart conversation is broken by retweets and quote-tweets of garbage which raises heckles of those people I follow.
I think, as much as Twitter can be an anonymous cesspool of people screaming into the void, hoping to have their hot-takes of the day noticed, I have learned many valuable insights from professionals whom I’m following.
To me it is a bit of a casual, proto-substack, where people can let their guard down and provide some valuable insights in their 15 minutes off work.
I think the secret here is to curate your list and follow as tight as possible, and shut down all attempts from Twitter to goad you to the latest outrage.
Comments are closed.