I am a keen facebook user, at one time I think there were a myspace and a Habbo hotel account (through which I met a friend who I am still friends with today, must be some 16-17 years now) and a few others along the way.
I am fairly sure at this stage that Facebook has won the social media thing, integrating all types of media, having private chat functions and being constantly updated (although the social rules mean you are obliged to hate any updates when they first arrive. no matter how good they are, much like with mobile phone software).
The social media giant I have never really understood is Twitter. I have a twitter account, which I use in a peculiar way. The accounts only purpose is to take comments I have overheard and quote them out of context in some sort of innuendo-heavy film without the actual script. Carry on up the internet. So technically I am a twitter user but I am not really sure that I get the point of it all. In terms of social media I kind of think that Facebook is an online coffee shop or bar, where you might pop in to see one or two friends and end up bumping onto an acquaintance or two while you are there. A conversation starts, you make a witty comment and it makes people smile (although rarely in a real life bar situation has anything I’ve said elicited a dozen people making no reply but offering a thumbs up gesture).
#twitter, on the other hand, is different. To me its like walking into a room full of people (maybe you know some of them but who can tell in that many faces) and just shouting whatever you want to shout. There can then be replies but it’s not really a conversation, it’s just more people shouting back and I don’t really understand if that’s helpful.
I get that it’s a great way to promote things, like a community bulletin board but to everyone, but self-promotion seems to be the main purpose, which is fine I guess if your not the leader of the free world.
This is why twitter matters now, and why I am not happy about it.
The President of the united states should not be announcing policy or criticising other parties and governments on twitter. This is not how a political leader act, it’s how a game show host acts. If you can say what you want in fewer than 140 letters then you are not presenting a carefully considered point rather than you are just barking an ill-conceived bigoted opinion (or a Trumpism). It’s also not ok, as the top man in the country, to express your deepest sympathies for whoever has met a tragic end, in a sentence that starts with a hashtag. He is not the only person guilty of this but he should surely by now, 13 days short of the inauguration, be considering how POTUS should behave?
I know it might look like a small thing I am picking on here, and perhaps it is considering that the man is so undesirable overall in any case, but I do find it dehumanising and just another way that this extremely wealthy and connected man can separate himself from those who he would rather not see or listen too. Ironically he is probably using twitter to make sure his messages strike a chord with younger voters, and he has 18.9M followers as of today, but bear in mind Donny, that this is (based on 2014 numbers) less than 17% of the population of the US. I would suspect that many of these are not US based (maybe one or two in Russia for example, and don’t forget Nigel Farage, Britain’s answer to the question no one fucking asked) but even if they were all in the US this seems a low average for a man who still things he one the popular vote. Could it be that those who voted in his favour are not technologically involved enough to follow him this way? Possibly. Could it also be however that Twitter is not the political centre stage Donald Trump likes to pretend it is?
Either way we have a few days left to find out if he will continue this trend, or change his ways after the #inauguration