Liam Hehir attempts to de-Twitterise himself

Liam Hehir writes about his attempts to wean himself off social media:

But one thing that will help is keeping my second resolution: To continue weaning myself off social media – and Twitter in particular. If you’ve never developed such a habit, then my only advice is to stay far away from it. Honestly. I mean it. Just don’t do it.

And if you are a constant user – consider quitting. You really have very little to lose.

One of the things about Twitter is that hardly anyone in real life actually uses it. As you become immersed in its world, this ought to help you keep perspective about how utterly marginal it should be to your life. In practice, however, that sense of perspective is easy to lose. Which is a problem given that, for all the hours you can dedicate to using it, the platform rarely produces anything of genuine value.

I keep trying to explain this to idiot politicians who think that their latest Instagram photo or snarky comment is converting votes. They aren’t. There is literally no point to social media.

Twitter isn’t real life. Voters don’t vote because of a cool photo or a convincing tweet.

There’s a lot of activity, of course. Some of it is pointless sucking up and rote praise between people of the same team. Occasionally, something actually funny or interesting is shared. But for the most part, users engage in attempts at wit via sarcastic one-liners and barbs aimed at members of the opposing tribe.

Pointless.

Imagine being at a barbecue where everybody is in a competition to outdo each other in zingers and loud guffaws over zingers. For those who use it to consume and debate the news, that’s essentially what Twitter is.

And once you start to disengage from it, you realise that it really is as bad as it sounds.

No surprises that soul-sucking attempts at irony abound in such a place. David Foster Wallace died a few years before it got big, but his statement that “even gifted ironists work best in soundbites” fits Twitter like a glove.

That’s not to say that Twitter isn’t fun or amusing in the moment. It would not be so addictive if that weren’t the case. Wallace conceded that despite being “agents of a great despair and stasis” in culture, “irony and ridicule are entertaining and effective”. And we all like to be entertained, don’t we?

But as far as mental consumption goes, social media is very much the equivalent of sugary soft drinks. It’s sweet to the taste, but it just contains so many empty calories – there’s nothing there. And I’m absolutely convinced that, the more you use social media, the less fit you become for real social interaction.

Hello, politicians!

Be more sincere, and extract me further from a habit that destroys sincerity. Without becoming a total sap in the process, I should add.

Anyway, that’s the plan. Success is not guaranteed. But it will be worth the effort.

People constantly email me and say, “Did you see such and such on Twitter”. My answer is almost always no. I can’t be bothered with the left-wing trolls and arseholes. I also can’t be bothered with sycophants. Mostly I just push links to posts on the site. I use Facebook for personal observations. I have an extensive blocked list on Twitter that has thousands of names in it. The silence from them is golden.

Twitter is banning themselves out of existence anyway with their great conservative purge.

 

-Fairfax


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story.  And when he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet.   Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet, and as a result he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist that takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him.  But you can’t ignore him.

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