November 18, 2015

Goodbye, Twits

Or, perhaps it should be, "Goodbye, Twitter," but who's quibbling?

As you might gather, I deactivated my @SardonicExCuria Twitter account today. I thought I would be able to use Twitter as a means to drive traffic to my blog, and hence, open a broader avenue for discussion. I was incorrect - very little of my website traffic generated from Twitter followers, as far as I can tell.

And this is, really, unsurprising. Twitter seems to be a venue for people to scream at other people, and not to listen; a way for people to instantly report what they feel, without reflection. Too often, in fact, it seems precisely like this:

I perceived that, in using Twitter, I was really only contributing to the problem of lack of reflectiveness. Twitter is designed for 140 characters or fewer, and is based upon a rapidly scrolling feed . This creates two problems that I see. One is that 140 characters is simply not enough for broader engagement of any issue. Therefore, Twitter lends itself to sloganeering - never a good forum for conservatives. As James Person, a biographer of Russell Kirk, notes:
Conservatism is certainly not a program, a campaign, or a career choice. Rooted in the small community, it is homely and humble and it makes for respectful peace within families, between neighbors, and ultimately among nations. It looks to the past, to be sure, but only to more clearly see the way through to tomorrow. It is brought about by example and persuasion, not by sloganeering and shouting down.
The second problem is that, due to rapid posting and scrolling, not only do people sloganeer past each other, but they sloganeer past each other, as the rapid feed devours any tweet not directly targeted to any one person. Combined, this means that Twitter turns into a forum of like-minded yelling - a narrow tribal website devoted to ensuring that nobody discusses anything at all.

Therefore, in a similar vein to turning to once-a-week posts of greater consideration (first edition due this Friday), I have dropped Twitter. I hope to encourage a mindset of the more permanent things by doing this as well.

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