MMM#2: Twitter is what you make of it

Although I have a Twitter account – if you’re interested, you can view it here – I try not to go on it that much and I’ve found that I don’t really miss it much when I avoid looking at it. Twitter can be interesting when there’s a big event happening such as the recent debacle in Afghanistan or the US election in 2020 and the fallout from that. You can learn a lot of things if you follow people from a variety of professions and backgrounds. Most of the people I follow are from the right-leaning or ‘anti-woke’ perspective but I also try to follow people who have the opposite point of view as it makes it more interesting.

I also have what could be called a ‘normie’ Twitter account which I keep non-political and just follow people I’m interested in outside of politics. I’ve discovered, predictably you might say, that a lot of those people have the fashionable ‘woke’ viewpoints so I’ve ended up unintentionally having two Twitter accounts reacting to events from opposite sides of the political spectrum. This was particularly fascinating during the end of last year with the controversial election loss of Donald Trump to Joe Biden. One Twitter was furious at what had happened and the other was elated at the end of Trump’s presidency. The latter is curiously silent about Joe Biden’s actions in Afghanistan though! It’s sort of like having the ability to occupy two parallel universes that experience the exact same events.

I’ve tried not to comment too much on there as you can get sucked into having debates and arguments with people who in most cases are not worth debating with. A lot of people have accused Twitter and other social media sites of causing the breakdown in nuance and civilised debate in political discourse as well as the increasing polarisation.

There is some truth in this but people also have the choice whether or not they want to engage with it in the way that they do. I’ve been tempted to comment on someone else’s tweet on many occasions but then decided against it to avoid getting into a conversation I didn’t want to have. Some things are better being done face to face or, alternatively, on a video streaming site like YouTube where you can communicate with the person directly.

Recently, I’ve taken to looking at my Twitter account on a day to day basis but I’m trying to avoid doing this so that I don’t get too obsessed with politics. On my other account, I’ve noticed that people use Twitter for things other than political discourse in ways that don’t make you angry at the state of the world – for a brief time at least – and show that there is a life outside wokeness and the ‘culture war’.

It is hard to avoid it all of course when politics is creeping into every other aspect of our life even when we want to escape from it. Maybe the answer is to just not have a Twitter account but if you do happen to have one that you use for political engagement, I recommend you use another one for non-political purposes. If nothing else, it will remind you that there are other things in life to occupy your time with.

Twitter, like life, is what you make of it.

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