by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again: Twitter is a disastrous scourge, which is particularly unfortunate given that a large bulk of the nation’s media is hopelessly addicted to Twitter. It is a great carbuncled pixel-based den of rumors, as bleak as one of those depressing old Wilfred Owen poems about the Great War. Also, don’t look now, but it may or may not be destroying our entire civilization from within.
With this in mind, I have a suggestion: Each and every responsible member of the media should immediately and dramatically declare a Twitter strike, preferably while wearing a monocle.
“Oh, come on, Heather,” you might be thinking. “People can be jerks, with or without Twitter. That’s human nature! For millennia, people have periodically been incited to mob-based action by shenanigans and fakery. You’re just a Luddite! Besides, I need Twitter to boost my career, even though it will likely one day lead to my being publicly shamed and cast out of society entirely. Also, it might be melting my brain.” …
… I will admit that my stance on Twitter — I quit last year, creeping back to visit once in a blue moon, always to my regret — makes me feel a bit old-fashioned, like the craggy old turn-of-the-century buggy-maker appalled at the arrival of those newfangled horseless carriages. But Twitter is no ordinary horseless carriage. It is a media-filled monster truck specifically designed to veer out of control, taking loads of clueless, gimlet-eyed journalists right over the edge of a cliff. Say what you will about the consistency of human nature — and believe me, I’m a believer in the fallen state of both humanity and the world — but Twitter is literally designed to amplify the worst in us. That’s its deal: mob action, viral groupthink, reality distortion, and outrage in exchange for hits of dopamine.