A lot has changed in my life in the course of the last year, more than had initially been grasped. It’s only when you have to lay life out to a total stranger that it becomes apparent of how a world view’s subjectivity will influence thinking and reaction. I’m absolutely not going to talk about the details of those conversations here, but I can consider the consequences they create in this virtual existence.
More and more, in my virtual sphere, it has had become socially acceptable to be the villain. Having played that role before such things were a means to make money, or show your disdain to other political/social groups, I realise that there is a lot of subtlety that is being ignored or simply not even being considered by people who feel that any criticism is bad. You either like summat, or you shut the fuck up.
Of course, that’s what I’ve done above. With the unsubtle, visceral lens screwed tightly into my world view, someone will read this tweet in exactly the same breath as the person who complains vociferously that their game’s being ruined by whiny, entitled fanboys. That position’s remained unchanged for well over a decade. The addition of ‘let people enjoy their stuff’ is irrelevant too. You come to Twitter for a fight, right?
That’s the entire point of posting a Tweet to start with.
The subtlety of discussion is receding in my timeline. It’s quite rare to have that kind of interaction in the first place: what tends to happen is someone does a ‘thread’ on a useful subject that is read and discussed, people elevate memes to new levels of clever/ridiculous/indecipherable, everybody posts more pet pictures and that’s the game. Is it because I’m not following the right people? I don’t think so.
What seems to happen now is that people just don’t talk to each other as much unless they feel SUPREMELY confident of their ability to deal with all-comers. This mostly seems to manifest with genuinely arrogant, unreadable diatribes or the occasionally brilliantly smart, funny and readable commentator. I’ve had enough of listening to the smug writers and broadcasters who somehow are above the rest of us.
Looking for genuinely interesting new followers is an increasingly tough ask.
Maybe this finally means the ‘if you’ve got nothing nice to say, say nothing at all’ adage is beginning to stick, I dunno… or maybe, more significantly for me, the feed I read on a normal day’s been reduced to something approaching quiet. The curation I’ve undertaken over the last six months has reduced my feed by about 250 followers: yes, I’ve gone in and force unfollowed a LOT of people.
Many of those were also people who would never, ever follow me back, and as a result are only useful to read and rarely react with. There are a few exceptions, but most of the discussions now are about subjects that are distinctly lacking in contention. I’m in no position to do anything else, and remain happy online. I look forward to the day when there’s more confidence to do so, however.
It will happen again, undoubtedly.