I sold my soul to Twitter

In a more elegant time I might have made a pact with the devil so that I could play a mean slide guitar riff. In our world I have to choose between facebook or twitter, both of which have the devil licked when it comes to controlling your soul.

Endless dialogue rages on in both places, people post, and post, and comment and star, and like, and retweet and post irritatingly positive quotes from dead people who never had accounts on either service.

“Why do we do all this?” you might reflexively ask yourself. Or if you are one of the few who stand in the sidelines, you might be screaming “What are you narcissistic morons doing?”

The truth is it is more probable than not that you are actually already on facebook now, playing in the walled garden, and you only stumbled on this because someone posted it. That is the big ugly fact of facebook, it won, it has done what AOL tried and failed, it has created a curated internet. And we use it simply because experiencing the web through the lens of our friendship network is either more useful or fun, I am not yet sure which. Will we ever know which of these is the truth?

If facebook is still here in 10 years then I would err on the side of usefulness, otherwise,… well it was an entertaining way to spend 100 billion dollars.

As for me I have walked over to the twitter side, it is even more shallow and narcissistic than facebook, with a cult of personality culture, and frivolous follow and unfollow ethic.

But there is a certain kind of honesty to the open shallowness of twitter. No one on twitter thinks it is anything other than narcissism, and they still read things that don’t exist only inside twitter. People come back to twitter for a moment of entertainment, but they are not trapped there, it is a game, it doesn’t have your photo albums, or your videos, or your friend’s birthdays or farmville. It is just people talking, joking, bullshitting, flirting, and desperately trying to be famous or sell stuff.

So I sold them my soul, I don’t need friends, I need followers.

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  1. This is very interesting to me.

    In previous times and places, I suspect I could have gotten completely hooked on twitter, but somehow I haven’t managed to get swept along by it. I was pretty much instructed to get a twitter account and “tweet regularly” and have dutifully done so. But there’s something that really makes me uneasy about it that I haven’t been able to put my finger on.

    Conversing online can get addictive, that’s for sure, and twitter is the biggest conversation there is. Our human need for social interaction is sated; there is a sense of being at the centre of the action; there is a sense of having your finger on the pulse. But what’s the result? Nothing… it goes nowhere…. and the bite-size nature of conversation means that people often simply end up rephrasing their prejudices and swapping quips and clever banalities.

    Going on your comments, this is a drug that I’m better off staying away from.

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