Beware! Twitter tunnel vision could turn you into Donald Trump – Laura Waddell

As Elon Musk thinks aloud with his plans to make changes to the platform, Twitter is in meltdown.

Donald Trump made much use of Twitter while president (Picture: Doug Mills/pool/Getty Images)
Donald Trump made much use of Twitter while president (Picture: Doug Mills/pool/Getty Images)

Or so I hear. Once, Twitter upheaval would have consumed my thoughts far longer than it should have. Now, a year after quitting, I’m relishing how little the platform and its dramas factor in my life.

Oversubscribed to by those working in the fields of politics, media, and activism, Twitter has been ascribed an outsize cultural importance. Although it struggles to turn a shareholder profit, the platform wields undoubtable influence on the news cycle.

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This, of course, was turbo-charged in the Trump presidential era when Donald started tweeting off-the-cuff statements rather than communicating with citizens through more official channels. This is not just an American thing – our own politicians embarrass themselves frequently online.

Musk has made the blue tick purchasable by plebs, thus devaluing the ego-boost that goes along with it, which has sent some commentators into a tailspin. The fuss is a good example of a general lack of perspective.

For those blissfully unaware, the blue tick is a verification system, originally doled out to people in the public eye to confirm their legitimacy, such as politicians, celebrities, broadcasters, writers, and journalists. When I left the platform about a year ago, the latest incident of misogynist abuse the last straw, I walked away from a blue tick and 14,000 followers. I don’t miss the blue tick a bit. Often all it shows is that people you might expect to take seriously are plenty capable of acting the fool and losing their heads while displaying their real names and job titles.

There’s a rich, busy world out there but to its most immersed users, Twitter feels like where it’s all happening. You’ll know about this, for whatever happens there is reported on and commented on ad nauseum in an endless feedback loop. So much of that – so much – is self-referential hot air by the kind of people who feel charged with a responsibility to publish near instantaneous statements of their opinions on news items and national tragedies alike.

Twitter tunnel vision is a real affliction. Symptoms, beyond doom scrolling, include bloating the individual with a grandiose sense of self-importance as to their role in civic debate.

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