“Nothing but blue skies do I see.”
Sometime over the weekend, probably early Sunday evening, I decided I’d had enough of Twitter. It was the Stan Grant thing. I'm not a huge Stan fan, but the guy did not deserve the kicking he got over the coronation coverage, and although that was spun up by the editorial gremlins at News Corp, a lot of the abuse was directed at him on Twitter.
So I bailed. I didn’t shut the account down, I just sort of walked way from it.
Increasingly of late, I found myself feeling sick as I scrolled through my timeline over there. Just toxic shit all the way down. So I decided to step away for a while.
I immediately felt better. And I felt better again when somebody sent me an invite to Bluesky, Jack Dorsey's Twitter 2.0. It's so quiet over there. Not empty and deserted. More like a library, pleasantly still and quiet. Erudite even. I followed some people I used to follow on Twitter, who’d dropped out of sight recently. (So many people have dropped out of sight recently). And I followed some new people. It's nothing like the fire hose I get at the bird site. But man, it is so much nicer.
I don't know whether it's sustainable, though. Once you reach a certain scale, you’re guaranteed to attract a lot of fuckwits. If I was Dorsey, I'd be charging a $ 5-a-month subscription right now. That would get rid of most of the dipshits immediately and provide an ongoing business model for the future. Honestly, on the evidence so far, I’d be more than happy to pay that much just for a quiet little app where I can follow people I find amusing or interesting and not have to deal with a lot of hysteria.
In a way, of course, that's why I keep running my little blog here. It serves almost no commercial purpose, but I find it agreeably distracting for 20 or 30 minutes a day, and that's enough for me.
I think part of it also is by staying on Twitter you are rewarding Space Karen and his followers for their behaviour.
I was dragooned into being the comms team leader for an organisation I volunteer with, and the first lesson I have to teach everyone who helps out is: we don't have to respond to every idiot who leaves a comment (on Twitter, FB, Insta etc). And the comments we do respond to, and how we respond to them, have much more to do with the people who are going to turn up later and read the discussion than the people we're responding to (usually because changing peoples' minds is impossible). When we do choose to respond, being seen to engage in a discussion in good faith, and disagreeing with someone respectfully, helps our cause much more than winning the argument with the idiot in question.
Which is a very long way of saying while I'm sad you're no longer on Twitter, I understand completely why you've stepped back, and I agree that not rewarding certain behaviours by sticking around and tacitly endorsing the platform with your presence is the right way to go.
These sorts of automated systems don't really need to charge as much as that. Before they were bought by the f-book, WhatsApp's monetization strategy was to charge its users $1/year. You can keep a dozen engineers and a computer chugging along quite happily for $2B/year, I suspect. Overheads are low. Of course they never got around to charging that at all, and I suspect that data mining makes up the difference somehow, just as it does with TVs.
I suspect that the point of being invitation-only is bluesky's fuckwit-avoidance strategy, at least for now.
I'm glad of your blog. It's a nice place. Nice thing about blogs is that it doesn't involve algorithmic engagement-stimulation. I'm sure that robots have their place, but guiding my attention isn't one of them.
Was listening to an astrophysicist on the radio the other morning and he was saying the same thing about the new hangout spot. He was saying how nice it was and fun again. Meanwhile us plebs are out playing in the radioactive dirt like a cross between morlocks and madmax building every bigger machines of spite chewing on the flesh of any who dare poke their head out :) I saw Chris Kenny briefly on a tv the other day and it reminded me that he existed and i felt like i needed a wash, but then remembered it was good to forget him and his ilk. Oh so good.
What has happened to Stan Grant jr is effing horrendous. I'm also not a fan but respect his viewpoint (especially around religion which is my main bugbear).
I recently did a purge of the numpties on the FB account i still have going (they were almost exclusively all old high school friends, but i keep the account to keep in touch with family who refuse any other medium including a goddamn telephone. Sick of seeing all the aunties and uncles sending out the "sorry folks hacked again please ignore any requests you get") and I wondered if turning these old school wankers off from my sight of view is a good thing or not. They obviously keep spewing their vitriol but is it good to know it exists and fight against it or is it a fire that will burn out of sight and eventually put itself out? Kinda like "do i care if that tree falls in the forest and no-one heard it?" Or do i run the risk of people turning up on my doorstep one day with pitchforks and brands to whip my woke arse.
I meant to mention earlier, there's a fantastic podcast called Flipping the Bird on Space Karen's takeover of Twitter; it's been quite cathartic to listen to:
I keep clear of the political shit, mainly use twitter for rugby news and views (it can get quite heated, but in a civilised, being pole-axed by a 130kg wrecking ball but not above the shoulders sort of way), and outage notifications. One this it is quite good.
This blog is good. It's one of my goto sites on a daily basis.
I miss Spartacast though.
Sounds like a reasonable plan for mental health. I have enjoyed the upswing in activity here and am getting back into the habit of checking daily.