As the woeful Jack Dorsey reign of political terror and sloppy sensitive data handling practices has mercifully ended with the Twitter CEO abruptly stepping down, the damage assessment from the last half decade of account holders experiencing a mass Stockholm syndrome is finally being released. Shame is in abundance throughout the documentation, however where it originates is not resoundingly evident.
Dulled by six years of unrelenting attrition, like a set of pathetic molars ground down to the nerve endings by incessant teeth grinding in processing the challenging political landscape of big cities and the West coast, the collective intellect of average American adults has tumbled down the wrong side of the bell curve. While social media is not entirely to blame in existing as a pathologically addictive force in massaging the frontal cortex, the presence of immersive digital platforms are conductive to manipulating free will to make bad decisions that transcend drunken Vegas exploits that only enter the stream of conscience after hitting a slot jackpot at 3am.
While the future shock of the information age is still fresh, the behavior modification facet of Twitter and “micro-blogging” being code for intellectual laziness in 280 characters or less, studies reflect the abbreviated mass of watered down cerebral thoughts have damaged critical thinking skills beyond repair. The reality is disconcerting considering that widespread gullibility and a susceptibility to misinformation has morphed the foundation of truth to an incredulously wavering set of misconceptions driven by raw emotion. And the tech realm is complicit in forging an atmosphere of indoctrination.
According to a recent Pew Research Center study on behaviors and trends of the Twittersphere, a six year period is indicative of the detrimental psychological and mental health environment of a community based on fantasies and urban myths. In 2015 38% of end users posted original thought in commenting on news stories, while in 2021, that figure has dwindled by half, indicating that apathy and fatigue resulting from the perpetually changing news cycle is taking its toll on individuals, as opinions are replaced by a chorus of echoes. This is illustrated with retweeting up 4%, and replies and quotes have jumped significantly as well.
Known for promoting a viral level of groupthink, especially on partisan issues, Twitter is the inorganic/organic laboratory of derision, and in a climate absent of accountability or consequences, extremism thrives. All indications are that society is getting stupider by engaging through electronic software means, and lateral thinking has been opted-out by the cruel mechanism of Darwinism. Mother Nature is ultra-efficient and an occasional cruel force that does not tolerate waste, an irony that is lost on the tech hierarchy and energy requirements consumed voraciously by the insatiable demands of server farms purveying a dream world.
At one point, Twitter was the optimal destination for reactions and debates surrounding the wide world of sports, and while the NFL is seeing record ratings and skyrocketing officially-licensed merchandise, interest on social networking is waning. On the other hand, thanks to the toxicity and divisiveness emanating from both sides of the ideological spectrum political tweets have jumped from 17% to a robust 26%. However, where the significant growth in government and legislation is unclear, as of course when Trump took office the polarizing domain was the vortex for emotionally-laden and pathological rants fueled by searing hate. As Twitter has become a source for fear mongering or in Newspeak “fearporn” individuals in the study devoted 17% of their posts to sharing myths and opinions regarding the Covid-19 pandemic. This especially disconcerting considering the magnitude of conspiracy theories and falsehoods floating around and combined with a poor understanding of the mechanics of immunology in creating a dubious duality built upon rhetoric and platitudes.
As of today their are nearly 70 million active Twitter users in the very unofficial aggregate knowledge of the search engine antithesis of intelligence, and 99% of those should probably not have a prominent pedestal in being insufferable time burglars. While the corporation is a publicly traded private entity, and thus First Amendment freedoms are far from a guarantee, the ambiguous “terms and conditions” of the community gives moderators and bots the unique to remove any content or advertising for absolutely no reason.
Even armed with this knowledge and the fact that innumerable fake accounts exist in doing the nefarious bidding of rogue elements, individuals still immerse themselves in what equates to chaos in the absence of privacy expectations, and the omnipresence of Chinse counterintelligence agents. The smartphone fetish has far outperformed the initial predictions for the addiction to timely information, and the prevalence of the ego to reach across the vast abyss of the digital matrix in craving validation. While social media remains trending and relevant, and the end user experience is continuously reshaped to accommodate fleeting intellectualism, the next five years should see quantum differences in how Twitter or the next-gen melting pot of data collection portals indoctrinates humanity through compelling and fluffy propaganda forwarding an agenda.
With Dorsey on a permanent hiatus that could involve a self-driving RV in recreating the nomadic treks of Ken Kesey, the internet will just have to wait on who will emerge as the next digital tyrant in killing intelligence for servitude.
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