Friday, April 17, 2015

Louis C.K. Is Quitting Twitter: Maybe Everyone Should!

Well, at least take a break from the notorious rapid fire, minimal word (minimal thought) social media,  reactive communication device. I mean, the damned thing is almost single-mindedly designed for bullying and over the top reactions hurled out via "tweets".  Louis C.K. evidently saw how the thing was altering him - after a nutso tweet on Sarah Palin in 2010, and so was adult enough to stop. As he put it, in an interview on Sirius XM:

"It didn’t make me feel good. It made me feel bad instead. So I stopped doing it. Any time I tweeted anything I was like, ‘Ugh don’t like the way that came out.’ And then four and a half million people saw it! It was the worst things I ever said, heard and seen by the most people. It’s the worst possible scenario.”
C.K. thereby expressing a sentiment that a lot of celebrities (e.g. Lena Dunham, Iggy Azealea etc.) have shared as of late. And they are right to do so! Louis added:
“It’s too instant, I don’t think the speed helps dialogue.I think it’s why everything is kind of fucked up and polarizing, because people are going too fast, they’re trying to react too quickly.”
Again, he has a solid point. Any medium which allows instantaneous reaction or instant aggression, is going to be "fucked up:" and "polarizing".  (See also Marshall McLuhan's 'Understanding Media') It can't be otherwise. While it is true blog posts can also be polarizing, because inevitably many will take issue - at least they provide a time-extended forum to make coherent points and arguments to support a position. Something a 140 character tweet simply can't do. Thus, a tweet is more like an infant's scream by comparison. Succinct, loud, abrasive and in your face. No wonder then tweets have converted so many into brash, over-sized toddlers with anger issues..
This is one reason I never took to Twitter and never will, and I don't care if I'm only 1 of a million or even a billion or dismissed as "out of touch" . Popularity of a thing has never - for me- been cause to jump on the bandwagon of the moment. Whether that be the 'ice bucket challenge' or the latest stupid tech gimmick like that Apple watch. There isn't a damned thing that watch can do for me that I can't already do. Oh, that goes for "selfie sticks" too - since I believe the whole concept of selfies is narcissistic and foolish. (Why I was elated on learning Prince Harry chastised an Aussie girl about her wanting to take a selfie with him, advising her to "stick to normal photos,  selfies you don't need!")
But that's the problem today, because too many simply give in to the latest craze no matter how daft or counterproductive.  Everyone wants to be "on the cutting edge" of the latest tech advance and so don't give a thought to the volume of electronic waste left in their pathetic wake.
Then there is all the mental and emotional  bandwidth waste that sucks up terabytes as people spew forth on any and everything - from the size of a model's lips, to a political speech, to the new Miss America "not looking like a real American".  As Louis C.K. notes, it provides instant license for anyone to shoot from the hip - and of course, repent at leisure because the damned thing has already gone out. At least with a blog post one can go back and edit if the words don't sound right or the emotions expressed are out of proportion to the stimulus.
Ordinary people who tweet each day almost as a reflex, need to put their twitter feed to rest. Maybe take time to meditate instead  and center themselves, as opposed to allowing a tiny character -generating device to rule their brains... and hearts.

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