On my deathbed I think my one regret will be that I didn’t send one more angry tweet finally getting someone else to admit they were wrong about something.
— Clifford Asness (@CliffordAsness) August 2, 2021
This tweet reminded me of something I heard on a recent Ezra Klein podcast. By now, we all understand that the big social media providers change over time. So do our experiences on them. This might be due to our personal or professional circumstances. Or it may be that if you garner a lot more followers your experience might degrade.
Here is Ta-Nehisi Coates talking about why he pretty much got off Twitter:
I basically left social media and just closed the door. I couldn’t hear, its too much noise. And I think the tough thing for me was very early — earlier, I shouldn’t say very early — but earlier in my career, certainly with the comments section I had at The Atlantic and when I had a relatively small number of Twitter followers, there was — and when Twitter was a different thing I guess — it was so much valuable input I got. It really was originally — there used to be this hashtag I used to follow, I guess they’re still there, Twitterstorians. And I can ask anything and I would get all of these answers, all of these recommendations.
Here Nikole Hannah-Jones weighs in on the topic:
And in much the ways that Ta-Nehisi just talked about, the Twitter of today is not the Twitter of when I joined it, when I had 300 followers. And the bigger the platform, the more noise, the more people are there to bait you and not to have dialogue. You can’t be vulnerable, you can’t not know, and just say, I’m trying to figure this out, can we have a discussion?
I think these platforms are less valuable when people feel the need to pull back. In short, everyone loses when the noise outweighs the signal. But things change. You change. The world changes. Platforms change. Don’t feel like you need to engage in the same ways, on the same platforms, forever.