Posted by: Mike P. | June 8, 2010

Twitter: I have Flown the Coup

… I nuked my Twitter account, too.  Was getting silly.  People live on it.

And we are not accomplishing anything 140 characters at a time except to get into insane fights with insane people, or become vague friends with people who we do not even know their names.

It was marginally useful to communicate with the very few people who are otherwise unreachable, but would DM.  But, for me, that was exactly one person, and while I will miss communicating with her occasionally, it’s not worth it.  And, with 8,000 followers, it is unlikely she knows who I am.  So, I get back to my original point.

The liberals make jokes at the expense of the conservatives.  The conservatives fight back, often times with rather nasty messages.  But, occasionally you can have a civil dialog that goes exactly nowhere.  An argument that actually ends no where is about the best one can hope for.  It is not like you are going to change someone’s mind.  If they actually believe in libertarian Ayn Rand style government, assuming they have any clue what they really believe in, you are not going to change their mind 140 characters at a time.

We jump up and down about BP and the massive destruction they are causing.  But, short of massive civil unrest, it is all worthless commentary.

The Twitter service itself is overloaded, poorly implemented and vaguely understood by most people.  Messages are dropped, direct messages delivered days late, even after they have been deleted and should not have been delivered.  It is not a system upon which to build stable social interactions.  The strangeness about fake retweets, real retweets, replies, mentions, first of line mentions, dot mentions, etc, results in an overloaded system that kinda works some of the time.  Until someone’s account gets hacked, and then a good percentage of a social circle gets bot-ed and accounts mangled, and other social media sites receive the spill over via stolen accounts and passwords.

Like all massive social interaction systems, it is doomed to failure since it is not in the best interests of those who control the flow of money and information to allow such systems.  I mean, suppose we all got together and simply barricaded all BP stations until they fixed the well, cleaned the damage, and paid restitution?  That would completely bypass the legal process.

And more importantly, such a bypassing of the legal process would almost certainly lead to the failure of the country.  While no one can really argue for BP’s handling of the leak, and that the legal system is not going to be able to address the damage done, it is not hard to imagine mob rule prevailing against say, abortion clinics, or post offices or whatever else people decide they are mad about.  Mob rule is seductive when you are leading the mob, and not so much when the mob is attacking you.  Since mobs are highly malleable, gullible groups of people, the likelihood that you will be attacked is high.

I have another account: mjpinmd.  Anyone who reads this is free to follow.  There are certainly some people I would like to stay in touch with.  If anyone does, we can share some common interests there.  But the days of 160 followers, most of who I do not know anything about, are over.

Really over, by the way.  Don’t delete your Twitter account on a whim.  Once you do it, it is gone in a few seconds.


  1. So, I changed my mind. Sue me. Wait, no, I was kidding. Don’t sue me. Anyhow, this time, I built the account and acquired followers I know and like. Last time, I was “promoted”, which isn’t really the best way to go about it.

  2. “It was marginally useful to communicate with the very few people who are otherwise unreachable, but would DM. But, for me, that was exactly one person, and while I will miss communicating with her occasionally, it’s not worth it. And, with 8,000 followers, it is unlikely she knows who I am. So, I get back to my original point.”

    – I win. Said person followed me back today. Yay! The internet can be a nice place. One more person I would like to rope in. We’ll see.

  3. I agree all over – except I think the stress of trying to keep up was what finally did it for me. There’s just too much… Good for you and embrace your new free time 🙂

    • Well, I figured out how to manage keeping up to a certain extent through the use of lists. But, yes, it was a nightly sort of thing. And most importantly, I was accomplishing nothing with it. I could do much more having conversations with local friends who I know are on the fence about many issues than conversing with people that either agree with me or hate me. There was very little middle ground.

      Just being outside in the garage with the lights on with a fridge full of beer will attract people (and moths, but fortunately, the plentiful moths do not drink the beer.)

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