Twitter. Love it or hate it, many of us would have had a taste of this microblogging site. It’s exciting, it’s addicting, it’s fun but most of all, it’s toxic. Forget about Facebook. Everyone knows Facebook is a cesspit of everything fake news and toxicity with an ounce of relevant news and updates from your friends and recognised media outlets. But no, this is about Twitter and my experience of being on this site for 10 years of my life.
Back when I first had an account, Twitter was filled with lovestruck emos, RTs, #nowplaying, an endless supply of K-pop, and Vine videos. Everyone was on Twitter to talk to themselves, (you’re considered popular if someone even acknowledged your tweets), and everyone just went about their business like any normal day. Everyone was entitled to their own opinions; sure, we might agree to disagree on many topics but hey, whatever makes you happy – if you think Justin Bieber is the greatest singer alive and My Chemical Romance is overrated, you do you, my dude. But this is no longer the case.
Logging onto Twitter is like Russian Roulette. There’s a chance of you having a nice scroll with pleasant topics and enjoyable discussions to be had with your mutuals or you could be bombarded with the dissent that could spark a war between various parties. Remember the days when you can express your opinions and be aware that there will be disagreements from people? Apparently, it seems to be disappearing very quickly in the Twittersphere.
Imagine this. You just logged on to Twitter, hyped about the new episode you just watched and you’re on there to discuss your favourite character from said tv show and tweeting about a hypothetical situation where your fave would do something a little differently than what was shown on tv. Five minutes later, Bam! Your tweet has been screenshotted, requoted, replied to with comments such as, “No, you’re wrong, XYZ would never do that!” “This is what happens when you don’t understand the story enough!” I’ve come across individuals who would tweet stuff like this and I even came across a tweet that goes something like this, “It’s 2022, I’m done arguing, if you think XYZ would *cue some random action* I’m straight-up murdering you.” Maybe, it’s meant to be a joke but it’s now become so easy to just throw around really negative words when they disagree with someone. Logical discussions have gone out the window and emotions have now come into play.
I’ve seen giants fall from their pedestals because of dissent within the community. Remember J.K Rowling and her fall from grace for a somewhat controversial tweet? Yeah, she got cancelled and she joined the many lists of celebs on the cancelled list. Cancel culture is now the new norm. What exactly is it? To put it simply, if you say or post something that might sound offensive, you’re cancelled. It doesn’t just apply to big names, no, you can be a small account but people will still come after you like it’s the end of the year sale. And if people are supporting your opinions, they get bashed too.
Twitter or even social media, in general, has become a place where if you don’t fit within the mob mentality, you’re basically an outcast. It has become so toxic that you can’t even express your view without fear of being called names, threats, reports, or having your account taken down. I can’t even tweet that K-pop is overrated without having rabid fangirls clawing down my back. Twitter is not a place for you to be on if you’re VERY concerned about what people think of you or if you’re just a very sensitive person. Nope, you’re better off on a My Little Pony fansite.
Knowing all this, I just can’t let go of Twitter. Yes, it is frustrating but at the end of the day, it’s become something so common, I feel like it’s a waste of time to be mad about it (though I’m petty enough to block tweets on topics that I find annoying). Even though I now find myself spending more of my time on Reddit with like-minded individuals I can’t deny the call of scrolling through Twitter and witnessing the world burn. Of course, I wish I could go back to the days where the most brutal argument was Justin Bieber versus K-pop but everyone has their guilty pleasure and I guess mine is twatching and banging my head in frustration whenever some random individual gets bashed for expressing their views. Oh well.