Twitter on paper is a great idea. Any user can “tweet” their messages out from their mobile and inform others in real time as to what’s happening at the moment. This is a great way to inform others quickly, whether it be a natural disaster, or traffic conditions, or maybe even a big sale, you could let other users know right away. You can also tweet out your commentary and opinions on anything. The usage ideas are almost limitless. Back in 2006 when Jacky Dorsey founded Twitter, he probably was thinking along these lines.
Flash forward to 2019 and now Twitter is President Trump’s de facto news flash tool. Twitter has now become the established news media’s favorite place to get controversial stories from. Countless trolls are able to put the rest of us into a mouth foaming frenzy with their callous tweets. Opinions are now coming at us from all angles and this is where the problem lies.
On Twitter, the saying “Everyone’s a critic” could never be more true. No matter who you are. No matter what you do. No matter how many babies you saved from the tip of an active volcano, you will be criticized. Twitter is like the modern equivalent of a person holding a gigantic megaphone shouting out to the world their opinions whether it’s right or wrong, wanted or unwanted. You will be bombarded by opinions all day long.
With over 300 million users worldwide, the opinions are countless. Trump has been using Twitter to his advantage ever since he got into office and even during the campaign process. Since Twitter is on most of our phones, we all have an equal opportunity to blurt out our stupidest thoughts without having a chance to think it over. So instead of using Twitter to help inform others, it is being used in a much more negative way. It gives bigots a huge voice in spreading hate. You can have an all out public battle with you target of choice whether it be your significant other, a celebrity you hate, the restaurant you were treated so poorly at, or some random idiot whose opinions clashed against yours. Just like a gun, twitter is not the one that inflicts the damage, it’s the user. And it’s never been easier.
So therein lies the problem. Twitter is now a weapon instead of a tool. Kevin Hart the tiny funny man was chosen to host the Academy Awards. He was ecstatic until the next day when old tweets he put out came back online. Jokes he made that were about his not wanting his son to be gay were retweeted. Now whether Kevin meant it or not, this surely was not a good look for Kevin. Next thing you know the media were on the story like flies to a pile of dung. Kevin the homophobic ass gets to host the Academy Awards! It was a PR nightmare for the comedian. He decided to not host, and tweeted out an apology for those he offended. You would think that would be good enough. Nope. Tweets still came in saying Kevin didn’t do enough. He should have hosted the Oscars and apologize there said one tweet. He doesn’t seem sorry! said another tweet. So whether he did or he didn’t, Kevin could do no right. Ellen DeGeneres came into the picture and supported Kevin. She tweeted, “Let’s talk about it”. Sure enough Ellen got roasted. The point here is that no matter what you do, someone’s opinion will always differ from yours. And the problem with Twitter is that it magnifies this contrast glaringly.
While Twitter did create movements to bring awareness to many topics that were ignored by most people (because people like to sweep things under the rug), it also created a phenomenon where there is much ado about nothing at all. Twitter certainly raised awareness on homophobia, sexual harassment and assault, race inequality and oppression. Twitter also has destroyed many livelihoods on the other hand. Twitter has created an environment where we are judged publicly. Similar to the public hangings back in the medieval days. Say the wrong thing, and you lose your job, your home, your family and anything near and dear to you. Businesses and corporations have jumped onto this, denouncing anything or person who might taint their brand. So for businesses, it’s still all about the money.
Nobody is perfect, the saying goes. On Twitter you better be perfect or you will be ruined. Make a mistake and you will pay the price. The price will be ten fold, a hundred fold, or more. Here is the problem with Twitter.
So before you go out and tweet how much you hated the waiter that didn’t bring your breadsticks in 2.3 seconds, think twice. Or better yet, delete the $@@##$#@ app off your phone, because your opinion is not a solid as you think.