AKA, Reflections Appropriate to Any Time Spend on Twitter
I hate your stupid opinions.
I hate reading them. I hate hearing you express them. I hate the way you just repeat things you’ve heard. I hate the way you never pause to examine if anything you’re repeating is true.
I hate the way Social Media has made us dumber. I used to read the newspaper when I was a kid. Mostly the Washington Post, mostly the editorial section, because even in my youth I had intuited that the “news” was a bowdlerized version meant to be shoehorned into a narrative by the crusading Journalists who pretended to speak Truth to Power while actually speaking MiniTruth to everyone else. That meant I read some people who I agreed with, and some I disagreed with.
But I read it, in silence, with no expectation of doing anything with it other than integrate it into my thinking. I didn’t run around the house or neighborhood letting everyone else no my opinion of it. I didn’t assume anyone cared for my particular take of Colbert King’s column.
Today, that would be done by Re-Tweeting it to everyone who “followed” me, with some manner of “sick own” or cretinous applause, such as “This!” or “READ THE WHOLE THING.” I wouldn’t be reading it to read it, but to decide whether it was Of My Sort or not, and make a big deal about it accordingly.
Social media has turned us all into bad journalists. And there were already plenty of those.
So, no, your reaction to the President’s last tweet, or the Olympics, or whether Black Panther is the GREATEST THING SINCE THE LUMIERE BROTHERS INVENTED CINEMA, or whatever one media clown said to another media clown, is not important. It won’t add anything. It does not create, it will not enlighten. It doesn’t exist on its own. It’s just a shout in a noisy room.
And it’s making you angry, and it’s feeding the devil you most want to crack down on. Because you get more of what you pay attention to.
And just in case you decide I’m not practicing what I’m preaching, understand that I could write a nice rant about the Olympics if I wanted to, because there’s very few things I detest as much as the Olympics. Watching the Olympics is about as much fun as watching… other people ski and ice skate.
Let that sink in.
And of course, you have to hear about their inspiration Life Stories first. As if I’m supposed to be interested that some derp had to get up early to practice flinging himself down a mountainside. I assume you have to practice to be good enough for the Olympics.
To say nothing of the fact that the costs of hosting these tedious games can bankrupt cities:
But honestly, I already don’t feel like saying anything else about it. I don’t want to argue with people who want to wonder how in the name of Cheese and Rice the Chinese judge couldn’t give the South Korean girl full points for landing that triple salchow. I don’t want to listen to you tell me “Figure Skating is too a sport, rather than a subjectively-scored performance art!”
I. Do. Not. Care.
And if I spend time arguing about it, I will have to care. I will have to come up with a tendentious definition of “sport” specifically rendered to exclude people who have trained their lives away to do something incredibly difficult that I’ve never even considered attempting.
Is that an addition to anyone’s lives?
So let’s all consider not sharing. Not re-tweeting. Not owning, or applauding, or cross-posting, meme-ing or swiping right.
Let’s try reading, and thinking. Let’s try doing. Let’s try keeping the noise down.
Now get off my lawn.