As someone who just recovered their Twitter account from hackers, this article comes at an opportune time. I think it’s rare to say that Twitter has brought out the best in anyone. I’ve had my public bouts with folks, and I’ve seen this platform severely amp up a person’s beliefs to a point where their posts read like they are the leader of an extremist group (both left and right).
So this article offers a dark-humor tale on Twitter addiction, and though most of us might not consider ourselves that far gone, the points made are relevant all the same.
We know on an intellectual level that social-media platforms are addictive. Sean Parker, the first president of Facebook, admitted as much in 2017 when he confessed that the site had been designed to exploit human “vulnerability” and to “consume as much of your time and conscious attention as possible.” We know this; we talk about it; we worry about children, or Cambridge Analytica, or Q, or any other damn thing except for ourselves. We don’t want to admit that each one of us has given a huge corporation untrammeled access to the delicate psychology that makes us who we are.
Just think, this article calls out Twitter, but we’re talking about all of social: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram (perhaps the worst of them), YouTube, TikTok, and whatever else is out there. Like every detail of a Las Vegas Casino designed intentionally to keep people seated and pouring money into machines.
Twitter is a parasite that burrows deep into your brain, training you to respond to the constant social feedback of likes and retweets. That takes only a week or two. Human psychology is pathetically simple to manipulate. Once you’re hooked, the parasite becomes your master, and it changes the way you think. Even now, I’m dopesick, dying to go back.
Twitter did something that I would not have thought possible: It stole reading from me. What is it stealing from you?
I would also add, what does it do for you? Engagement isn’t nearly what it was in the first five years, not even the first ten years. So why do we continue? What’s the point anymore.➵