Twitter: Dopamine Fueled Dumpster Fire, and I Love/Hate it.
I love Twitter and in many ways I feel like it was made for me. It caters to my extremely short attention span and I like crafting pithy one liners. Most of them I would write and then delete because they were a little too biting. But occasionally I would let them fly and was rewarded with “likes” by my tribe for stuffing some bully in a locker. Exchanging anger for hits of dopamine is bound to have some negative consequences though. The end product is almost certainly creating more bullies. You can keep your hands clean for only so long with wrestling with pigs.
On the other side, it can provide wonderful community. Or at least the sense of community. I’ve connected with people I’ve had enough positive interactions that I would consider friends. We’ve even discussed having a local (#PNW) meetup. Many of them share my beliefs, struggles, and sense of humor. It has helped me not feel so isolated sometimes. And, I was resonating with people. After having a couple hundred “followers” since 2007 when I got into it I climbed to over 1,300. Love that dopamine.
I’ve also had some great interactions with people there is zero chance I would have been able to connect with otherwise.. such as Kristin Du Mez, author of “Jesus and John Wayne” and Beth Allison Barr, author of “The Making of Biblical Womanhood”. Both have been very helpful books over the past few years. There have been many other great interactions with people I have a lot of respect for. I love following and engaging with great voices like David French and so many others. I felt like I was fighting the good fight along side them.
On the lighter side I had a fun little interaction with the creator of one of my favorite TV shows, “Sledge Hammer”. It was random and just one of those fun Twitter things.
For the most part being in the “Weird Christian Twitter” (#WCT) has been encouraging as these past few years have been deeply isolating. Having a place to share struggles, discuss history, and push back what I see as dangerous thoughts in our society (ex: election denialism, and Christian Nationalism) has been a net positive in my life. I’ve gotten a lot of encouragement from people and I’ve generally done a good job of it, or so I’ve been told.
But.. there are darker voices on there..
Twitter benefits from the fight. It needs war.
The algorithm wants engagement, and that usually means disagreement and drama. Twitter constantly finds ways to put people in your path you are going to disagree with. Try as you might, it will affect you whether you like it or not. The anger and frustration compounds. And it’s pretty easy to fire off a rage Tweet. Which is, not great. Twitter wins, everyone else loses.
I will probably go back at some point. But it also keeps me from writing, which I would like to do more of.
I’m not here to make excuses for myself, and there are definitely some fights worth fighting. But fighting takes a toll and there are casualties on both sides. I’ve hurt people, and that sucks.
So, I’m taking a break.
The dust is still settling on the election. Most the election deniers were sent packing, Trump pretty much killed the Red Wave himself.. with the help of some shady Democrat funding. The fear of a Constitutional crisis in 2024 seems to be receding. And hopefully, we’ll keep funding the fight to save Ukraine. Hopefully the GOP will learn from this and become a real party again. Anyway, that’s probably a different post.
The world still turns (and Twitter still burns). Hard to know if what will be left of Twitter when I get back to it with Musk at the helm.