The Matrix was designed to resemble humanity at its peak, in 1999. So basically everything we have today except for social media.
That’s the thought that went through my head as I opened up a Twitter account a few days ago.
I was writing my previous post about my dad the conspiracy theorist and wanted to see what would happen if I typed antivax in the search bar.
Of course I haven’t been living under a rock for the past decade, so I can’t say the experience ruined my innocence. I was however surprised by the amount of people with opinions.
Not surprised there were many people with opinions, but more that everyone has their own opinion.
Honestly it was a little intimidating. Twitter feels like a stadium full of people where everybody is shouting at everybody at the same time and expects to be heard, understood and validated.
Some people have 20 people listening to them, others have 50,000 or more. But everybody’s screaming their lungs out all the same, and everybody seems equally unheard.
After all, who goes to Twitter to listen?
And naturally, it made me wonder: what’s the point of anyone going on Twitter and sharing their thoughts? Twitter is very much like a nuclear bomb: just because we have the technology to use it, doesn’t mean we should, or that we’re entitled to even.
Then again, why wouldn’t my thoughts on things deserve some credence? At my very core I’m a thing with thoughts. If I don’t use my right as a thing to share thoughts on a platform designed to accommodate that very thing, wouldn’t that equate to me waiving my right to think freely?
(The answer is no, just watch The Matrix for proof the world was at its peak before billions of things with thoughts started sharing their thoughts on things. The real reason I’m going on Twitter is of course for people to validate the thoughts that I think and the thing that I am.)
The whole reason I started Not Another Fucking Food Blog was to write about whatever I want without caring what anyone thinks or even if anyone’s interested.
Why would Twitter be intimidating if I decided not to care? How could both be true?
Scrolling through the #antivax feed I quickly realized few people seem concerned with that discrepancy. From the staunchest virology expert supporting facts with data all the way down (yes, down) to former A-list celebrities bragging about their antibodies and off the deep end to 5G cultists or just straight up Nazis, everybody on Twitter is convinced their opinion is the right one.
It doesn’t matter if what you tweet is true or even if you care. The only qualifier is that you have thoughts on things. And on Twitter, the things don’t even have to be real. If anything, reality is measured by how loud you shout your things.
Realizing the bar is set to such low standards, I decided to give into my vanity as well, and start tweeting.
Not because I think my opinion on anything matters, but because I’m curious to see what it’s like to be in a stadium full of people and shout at random things with the rest of the people there.
Starting off with 0 followers isn’t exactly encouraging, but I quickly realized it doesn’t matter. It’s Twitter: you always write to the 50% that gets annoyed and to the other half who thinks they already thought the things I’m thinking.
To up the ante a little, I decided to tweet a reply on a thread. By chance or by algorithm, this is the thread I landed on:
As you can see, it’s a tweet from someone who doesn’t want the covid vaccine and makes a case for it because they’re not extremist, violent or even antivax, and also because they don’t like consequences, or because they don’t understand them.
It immediately unlocked some sort of my primal instinct: I got pissed.
People not getting a covid shot at best are misinformed by an overdose of too many thoughts on things that in reality are neither, but of course once you commit to anything being a thing and some stranger on the internet tells you your things are just thoughts and your thoughts are the things you need to rethink, people understandably get confused and think both your things and thoughts must be wrong, which they know because that’s what some stranger on the internet told them.
And that little word salad describes the most reasonable bracket of conspiracy theorists.
Go down the rabbit hole further and you quickly reach a level where thoughts and things are weapons of bad intentions, so when someone says Ey I’m really a good person because, you know, I’m not a terrorist, can I please live my life, have my thoughts on things, without someone else having their thoughts on my things? I get annoyed by the immaturity, lack of morality and just overall lack of happy thoughts.
So in drafting my reply to this now already 2 day old tweet, I wondered how much empathy I should add to the mix.
What do I enjoy more: being right or being kind?
Wait, can’t I be both right and kind?
Yes, but it makes for really boring tweets, so screw that thought.
I came up with my reply. It took me a few hours. Then, after another few hours of staring at my reply and quietly basking in my own thoughts on things, I tweeted it. I remember it well. It was Friday, just after 4 pm, and I really should’ve been focused on my work, this thing that I do at the office I was at.
Me sharing my things however was a much more monumental occasion than me writing yet another blog on email safety. I was about to get back to work, but then disaster struck:
I noticed a typo in my tweet, so I deleted it, then quickly added it again:
It even got one like!
Someone likes my thoughts on things!
Afterward, I did what most people working in startup companies in the Netherlands do on a Friday afternoon: I got totally hammered and subsequently broke all covid restrictions with my colleagues.
Being drunk makes twittering a whole lot easier, I found out.
On the train back home I opened Twitter on my phone and immediately stumbled on another few tweets on the subject of vaccinations. I felt jacked up and in the mood for battle.
And why wouldn’t I indulge myself? It’s not like things ever come from thoughts on Twitter, right?
Or maybe social media really is the reason the Architect of The Matrix traveled us back in time to right before.
I haven’t tweeted anything since I sobered up, mostly because when I woke up the next day I felt like I’d given a homeless person a handjob in exchange for money – not at all normative behavior for IT copywriters such as myself.
There’s a certain kind of sleaziness to Twitter that makes sense when you’re drunk or high, but when you enter that stadium unintoxicated it’s not unlike walking into an orgy sober (talking from experience).
That said, I have a whole arsenal of one-liners at my disposal, things I think of things throughout the day. They’re all tweet-ready, and no doubt I’ll fire more shots in the near future.
Twitter only gets me a little high. What’s the worst that could happen?
To celebrate my first tweet, I feasted on some salted nuts I bought at the grocery store on my way home:
How to go nuts:
Fossil fuels are basically dinosaurs, so technically climate change is their fault.
Anyway, few things are more rewarding than coming home from a hard day’s work or even just a regular hard day pretending to work and indulging on some artery cluttering gluttony. Chemically laden nuts are my favorite, in part because my boyfriend wants nothing to do with those, leaving me with more.
The recipe is quite simple. You go to a grocery store, buy nuts you like, go home, get high (optional), then start binging, on twitter, on content, on alcohol, and on nuts if drugs, alcohol and social media alone make you feel orally neglected.
And if that doesn’t do anything to cure your inner meh, you can always follow me on Twitter where I try to cure mine.