October 25, 2016 § Leave a comment
“One thing is certain in this life. There’ll always be some bugger who doesn’t like you. Just try to make sure it’s not yourself.”
I completed Harper’s Crossword Contest “Twofers” (November 2016) and mailed my entry off. It was more challenging than usual, meaning I couldn’t use the English-language ENABLE list for pattern-matching as some entries were in Latin or Italian. I had an idea the English could do these in their sleep, after six mugs of warm beer, like they would manage a darts game or rattle off Southey, Wordsworth, Tennyson, Larkin or Shakespeare. But no English helped me this time.
I wonder, should I unmute, then unfollow the politically-minded accounts carrying the oriflamme or vexilloid for the defeated US political party? They’re muted, they don’t bother me now. I expect they have me muted as well, and I’m just a notch on their followers.
I would take it as a personal slight when people would suspend their accounts without notice, as I’d ascribe no other reason for their hiatuses than the reason I’d give for my own: more noise than signal, more noisome than nice, even an echo chamber can be bothersome if the voices are too fast, loud and urgent. What can you get across in 140 characters anyway?
I may’ve used Twitter for the wrong reasons. I used it to retweet sentiments I couldn’t express better, post URLs to useful information, and to amusing videos, songs in my head, and to chat with some good people. What would it look like if I followed 80 accounts, and eight accounts followed me? What conversations would happen if I checked in only every few months? How would I connect with others if my tweets were private? What if I chose to log in from an offshore VPN so I wouldn’t get promoted tweets, political or otherwise? What if I commonly left out vowels in hot phrases that attract bots of the attention-desperate social media marketers?
Twitter’s for bot-proliferation, hashtag abuse, copyright policing, and promoted political tweets in the face of nauseated disenfranchised folk. These are reasons why it can’t find a buyer. Good luck getting specifics on a current emergency situation tweeted by news and law enforcement agencies without some unhinged bigot/low-information dolt contaminating comments with some geographically removed bile. What is it about social media that legitimizes intolerance?