It has to be hard these days, finding a middle ground between things you actually know and the lies you tell others. After all, if you told them the truth, it could totally kill your biz mojo, and nobody wants their biz mojo totally killed. So I felt badly for my pal, Kevin O’Keefe, who has a deep interest in getting and keeping lawyers engaged in social media. Although, Kevin’s bread is buttered by blogs, and his pitch was about twitter.
Twitter is under siege with people saying its days are numbered. Users are threatening to leave for any of number reasons – most of them baseless. Financial analysts and reporters, looking at Twitter’s declining stock price, see a dying company.
I couldn’t disagree more. Twitter is what it is, one of the more powerful, if not the most powerful, news and information reporting utilities in the world. I doubt that Reuters, UPI or the AP had near the influence and importance in their first decade.
This might have been an opportune moment to discuss the actual problems being raised. Instead, Kevin dismissed them as “baseless,” the only issue being twitter’s stock price. And that issue, of course, is inextricably woven into the problem that twitter, despite public participation, has no sound business plan to monetize all those eyeballs.
This is the pervasive tech problem, great, fun, cool ideas and no way to make money off them. There’s only so much advertising that anyone is going to buy, especially now that Adblock renders it useless anyway. And let’s be real, everyone despises online advertising, and it’s largely ignored as background noise.
Except, there remain people whom have yet to discover the joys of social media that others have endured for years, and they remain to be sold on the huge money to be made. And so, insipid people with avarice in their hearts continue to pump stupid into the veins of the n00bs.
Twitter is a better social media platform to communicate with whole world through great professional connections. It is accepted worldwide without any spamming problem.
The whole world?!? Wow, that’s amazing! So if I twit, the whole world will know, send me money and I’ll be RICH!!! Well, not exactly. Much has happened to twitter lately, from the dechecking of @Nero to the creation of twitter’s Trust & Security Council, comprised of the sternest of feminist and SJW censors and shrews. As Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey explained:
Twitter stands for freedom of expression, speaking truth to power, and empowering dialogue. That starts with safety. https://t.co/PbEoM1lCyb
— Jack (@jack) February 9, 2016
One might say that it’s all about the mechanics of twitter, that the medium is the message. But while the medium is changing too, from 10,000 word twits to twitter’s new algorithm that will substitute its judgment of what you ought to see for your judgment of what you want to see, does this change twitter for those who see it as another method of hawking their wares to the world?
Well, yes. The medium of twitter may well have captured the interest of many, but when twitter flexes its censorship muscles, as it’s entitled to do, that interest will drive away users who once gave it life. How much fun is it to talk in an empty room? How much fun is it to talk in an echo chamber?
Oh goodness, what fun twitter was in the early days, a secret bathing-pool in a magical glade in an enchanted forest. It was glorious ‘to turn as swimmers into cleanness leaping.’ We frolicked and water-bombed and sometimes, in the moonlight, skinny-dipped. We chattered and laughed and put the world to rights and shared thoughts sacred, silly and profane. But now the pool is stagnant. It is frothy with scum, clogged with weeds and littered with broken glass, sharp rocks and slimy rubbish. If you don’t watch yourself, with every move you’ll end up being gashed, broken, bruised or contused. Even if you negotiate the sharp rocks you’ll soon feel that too many people have peed in the pool for you to want to swim there any more. The fun is over.
Is he complaining of mean twits, stupid eggboys twitting filling his timeline with nonsense and insanity?
To leave that metaphor, let us grieve at what twitter has become. A stalking ground for the sanctimoniously self-righteous who love to second-guess, to leap to conclusions and be offended – worse, to be offended on behalf of others they do not even know. It’s as nasty and unwholesome a characteristic as can be imagined. It doesn’t matter whether they think they’re defending women, men, transgender people, Muslims, humanists … the ghastliness is absolutely the same. It makes sensible people want to take an absolutely opposite point of view.
And these self-righteous shrews and censors comprise a small minority of twitterers, so why let that put you off?
But I would contend that just one turd in a reservoir is enough to persuade one not to drink from it.
For those of us who have lived the internet, social media, from its inception, we’ve watched as it’s morphed from the Wild West to grandma’s parlor, with someone tsking whenever someone uttered something “inappropriate.” Technology has invariably trended from the edge to the mainstream, starting with some enticing element of cool interest and moving toward homogenization, mediocrity and inoffensive appeal. And then it dies, because no one uses technology because it’s the least offensive, most easily palatable, lowest common denominator thing.
Whether twitter is dying is hard to say. There remains a question of whether Jack Dorsey will actually do what he says he’s doing, and whether these shrews and censors will take charge of the medium. There is another question of whether twitter’s changes in format will be so utterly disinteresting as to reduce it to a social wasteland.
But if it does die, one thing will be clear. It wasn’t the nasty people who the shrews and censors hate who killed twitter, despite their teary-eyed cries that it made them feel sad. If twitter dies, it will be because twitter committed suicide. It hung itself on the rope of the self-righteous who demand that their vision of acceptability replace whatever the hell we choose to twit.