“In fact, if you set out to design a platform that would poison America’s discourse and its politics, you’d be hard pressed to come up with something more destructive than Twitter.” Prof. Glenn Reynolds of InstaPundit
Reynold’s article in USA Today outlines his reasoning for leaving social networks. In short his thesis is that like the wildfires in California, damage is easy to cause and difficult to contain. But, as Reynolds would say, read the whole thing.
Bryan Lunduke, a tech pundit, has reached a similar conclusion but for a different reason: humans are not capable of such large scale social interactions.
Debouncing and Clamping
It might take sociologists years to understand why, but the closed garden social networks have definitely turned into scraming matches for hyenas. I tend to skew more toward the Instapundit’s theory that social networks make it too easy for people to just say anything stupid that comes to mind.
In the bloggingg heyday, less than a decade ago, things were different. Every blog owner had to cultivate a following which meant being conscience of what was and was not posted.
Today’s Facebook and Twitter simply allow users to post many tims a day the most unthoughtful of screeds. How else do we explain the rise of duck-lip selfies.
There is a counter-example, but it proves the point: Linked-In. While being a modern, closed-garden social network, Linked-In manages to maintain a high-level of civility probably because thoughtlessnesss, or the appearance of it, is generally not a desired factor when trying to find a job. And Linked-In generally does not have the types of users who are not career-minded such as teens and cranks.
I’m Out (Sorta)
In general, hordes of jerks don’t bother me. As the saying goes, “the masses are asses”. What I have found most disturbing, though, is how people I know, people from meat-space, have treated me on Facebook. And this… this is alarming… to have acquaintenances and friends say things to me and about me in an open Internet forum that they dare not do in person.
Perhaps the true measure of a person is what they do when they believe their actions have no consequences.
Anyway, with the exception of Linked-In (see above), I’ll soon be deactivating all my closed-garden social network accounts. As for the Fediverse, I’ll still continue with that but I do plan to make changes to it as well. There will still be this blog, and my email address, which has not changed in years will still be around as well. But as for the cesspits filled deep with the mindless… bye bye!