I try hard to avoid Twitter. I use it (and LinkedIn) to publicize my blog posts. I click publish and voila! Insta-tweet. Sometimes, I will tweet a little joke or pun, but I hardly ever participate in the normal Twitterverse. The main reason is that every time I get into a conversation on Twitter, I feel like people are yelling at me and regularly misunderstanding my meaning.
Part of the problem are words. Words are not precise instruments. They are inherently interpretable. Also words often do not have the subtle modifiers you get through facial expressions, eye-rolls, air-quotes, context, and other non-verbal forms of communication. I choose my words carefully, but on Twitter, you cannot choose carefully enough. Someone will take umbrage at your remarks regardless of intent or even the specifics of the text.
You can even get into an argument if you completely stay in the positive space. You can say nice things and people might interpret you as sarcastic or ironic. Also if you say something nice to someone, a hater of that person will yell at you.
All arguments on Twitter escalate. Here is an example from today:
- Me: “Hey @Adobe. You should have a competitor to Google Fonts. I used to think of you as the font company, but now I think of Google instead.”
- Anonymous Twitter Person: “First of all, Adobe *ARE* giving you the XD app *AND* fonts for free. Secondly, Adobe don’t owe you anything. They are a business. The additional services come at a cost. If you want something, and it is worth something to you, then pay for it.”
- Me: “Or Ill use Google Fonts for free and stop using Adobe products in general – which is what has been happening for years. I am saying that Adobe is missing a strategic opportunity and are losing their mindshare to Google Fonts (for that one area).”
This is what I imagine he (I’m willing to bet it is a guy) will say next: “You are just a hippie socialist freeloader just trying to get free shit! #MAGA”
They will likely throw a sarcastic meme in my face like:
And I then I will say, “And you are an asshole racist fascist dickweed who loves Nazis and Hitler!”
See right there?! It went to Nazis and Hitler! There is a “law” for this:
In this case, I am the bad guy. I went to Hitler first. But I was provoked by negativity. It starts small, then a little harsher, then harsher, then BOOM – Nazis.
This is why I hate online discussions and especially Twitter. They bring out the worst in all of us. We are crazy little chimpanzees trying to pretend to be civilized. We are animals. Wild animals. And Twitter is where you see our true nature. Ugh.