Twitter just sent me a congratulations message ‘coz I’ve had my current account four years, in a machiavellian attempt to convince me that this is an achievement. It isn’t, of course. The main reason I’m still on twitter is the same reason I drank for thirty years, because it’s a hard habit to break, made especially difficult by twitter’s own policy, to hold you in limbo for a month after leaving, in case you change your mind.
Twitter is like a late pub with loud clientele and lifeless decor that sells watered down liquor to people too pissed to make good choices. The very act of being on it is debasing. Especially, if you’re a woman. Twitter has been at the forefront of the social media drive to cleanse humanity of the one time universally held knowledge that humans are a sexually dimorphic species and the consequent Western obsession with eradicating women as a sex class.
Dimorphic – that’s one of my top ten twitter adjectives. Day and night, I preach the word, ‘Humans are a sexually dimorphic species,’ into the dark echo chambers of twitter, where such a statement is revered and reviled in equal measure. I’m one of thousands of keyboard warriors who hold the line on this truth. And, if I’m honest, it gives me a sense of purpose, supporting this most just of causes, the global right of people to be able to state the fucking obvious.
I like to think, in my own small way, I am contributing to an important movement.
‘Course we all like to think of ourselves in a positive light and to imagine our actions have an impact. Nobody knows that better than twitter. And its algorithms meet my ego and then, puppet like, I play the role of someone whose words can change the world. And it’s a big part, but that’s the joy of twitter. Everyone has a starring role in their own twitter feed. Everyone’s a headliner and the whole world is your audience.
Until you spend long enough on twitter to realise that the whole world has shrunk to the size of two groups. Those that get it. Those that don’t. The ‘it’ is subjective and the algorithms are set to keep you batting for your tribe and baiting your opponents in this relentless game with a single aim, to keep you online, where twitter can sell you stuff and make their shareholders richer.
I haven’t always been this uber aware of the pointlessness of twitter. The first year was sort of fun. Finding all these folk who thought like I did about certain things. Feeling a sense of belonging that urban single mothers crave. Feeling a part of something greater. But the honeymoon gave way to the drudgery of day to day life in twittersville, where nothing changes but your follower count as everyone interesting gets banned or bails, for mental health reasons.
I should probably have quit long ago. I’ve dreamed about getting banned, for ages now. But it’s not been my road. It’s not that I don’t tweet the stuff that gets you banned. It’s the only stuff worth tweeting! It’s just I wake up the next day and instead of facing a lifetime ban, or at the very least, a suspension, I find a live feed and the cycle begins.
Until today. There was something about twitter’s ‘Congratulations’ that was particularly provocative. A platform founded on elevating the banal to the politically pertinent was commending me for continuing to allow its algorithms to manipulate my time. In layman’s terms, Twitter was taking the piss.