I fucking hate Twitter. Twitter is literally a complaint box and it is slowly ruining the world.
Ingenuity, risk and free speech are vanishing because of the irrational fear EVERYONE has of a handful of Twitter users making complaints.
Left, right, center, it doesn’t matter. Every team is the same.
I bet this post will get complained about on Twitter.
It’s addictive to complain on Twitter, or to read other people complaints, or to get validated for your own complaints, or to get rewarded for your complaints, but it fucking sucks for your soul and our society.
All those complaints must lead somewhere: Anger. And Anger drives out reason.
Twitter started as a text messaging service. You used to use Twitter to broadcast updates to your friends. The very first tweet was, “just setting up my twttr”. It was refreshing to share what you were doing with friends.
I do not recognize Twitter now
Today, Twitter is a soapbox, and the news is mostly bad.
There’s even a word to describe how we interact on Twitter with bad news, rants and drama: doom scrolling, which is when you fall into a rabbit hole filled with negative content. And yet, you keep coming back for more.
What even is Twitter?
Let us face it; most tweets are thinly veiled rants.
It’s the exception, not the rule when somebody posts a fun update.
If a tweet is not about partisan politics, it’s usually a complaint about something else.
Off to a bad start
The culture of Twitter makes it toxic from the start.
Many people first join Twitter to complain about something specific and urgent.
How many low-activity Twitter timelines are empty except a complaint or two about about a delay on their airplane directed at the airline or something analogous to that?
Now compare this phenomenon with daily users. How many high-activity Twitter timelines are mostly filled with pseudo-complaints that work up their base of followers?
We get new followers by getting our tweets retweeted. Rants and drama get more retweets.
Take, for example, Disney World Twitter (which is a thing), which should be the happiest Twitter place on Earth, but it isn’t. Topical tweets from Disney World Twitter that don’t contain drama don’t get much engagement, and the power users know that.
[Insert your Profession] Twitter is similar. You really have to amplify negative issues in your profession to gain any traction. If you just post tweets about your new blog post or how you enjoyed your lunch, you won’t get many new followers.
The most visible users are the most upset — likes and retweets are the currency pushing tweets to the top.
Am I wrong?
Maybe it’s true that I’m just looking at the wrong users or that I purposefully engage in doom scrolling. But what makes Twitter so toxic is that it actively points you in the direction of complaints, scandal and drama, not fun updates.
On the sidebar of Twitter is the “What’s Happening Feed”. This was once known as the Trending Tab. It shows you the topics that are currently trending on Twitter. Nine times out of ten its some drama, usually about some hyper-partisan issue, not the most important thing happening in the world in that moment, otherwise it wouldn’t have risen to the top. It could be a seemingly innocuous topic; however, when you click on the link to the topic, you are directed not to an article, but a tweet and the accompanying toxic comments about the issue. You become focused on the attention seekers and the trolls, not the article. Who even clicks the article anymore?
All I meant to do was read the article, but instead I spent an hour reading the trolls’ thoughts on the issue.
If you only followed Twitter as your sole news source, you would think the world was ending.
Much like how the news gets more clicks with bad news and drama, drama and bad news tweets get more attention on Twitter.
Let’s be clear, the world isn’t perfect, and the issues amplified on Twitter are real. However, if you spend your entire day gorging your brain with negative tweet after negative tweet, you too will start to feel negative.
Much like cigarettes, Twitter is toxic, so I quit both.
End the anger, get off Twitter.