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    • vunderkind7 months ago

      The Twittering Machine is powered by an insight at once obvious and underexplored: we have, in the world of the social industry, become “scripturient—possessed by a violent desire to write, incessantly.”

    • bill
      Top reader of all timeScoutScribe
      7 months ago

      This is exactly what I was looking for after reading this other one by Nir Eyal. The war against the robots (to save our souls) isn’t a society-wide thing. Everyone fights the battle in their own heart. Also, addiction doesn’t impact everybody in even remotely the same way.

      Excellent writing. Lots to think about.

      • Alexa7 months ago

        yesss, I like this point about the personal responsibility of finding your healthy relationship with the platforms as you would with drugs, alcohol etc. The blanketing us all in nanny state rules wont help, only recognizing our habits. I really want to check out this book if I can find it!

    • Pegeen
      7 months ago

      Wow, I feel this was well written and brought up some interesting ideas. Loved “scripturient” - possessed by a violent desire to write, incessantly.” The author asks is there “something in us waiting to be addicted?” I like the idea, “rather than asking what is wrong with these systems, we might ask, What is wrong with us?”

    • jeff
      Top reader of all timeReading streakScout
      7 months ago

      I really enjoyed reading this but in the same way that I can really enjoy reading the works of pessimist philosophers. The opening paragraphs certainly reinforce the idea that at least some of us on the outside are at least partially responsible for our hurtling into a dark future.

      Instagram, cut off from a steady supply of vacations and parties and other covetable experiences, had grown unsettlingly boring, its inhabitants increasingly unkempt and wild-eyed, each one like the sole surviving astronaut from a doomed space-colonization mission, broadcasting deranged missives about yoga and cooking projects into an uncaring void.

      Well that's one way to look at it. I prefer Kaitlyn Tiffany's take from her excellent article earlier this year:

      Without a steady stream of brunch photos, beach-vacation selfies, and horribly loud concert footage in which the singer is not even recognizable, platforms such as Instagram and Facebook have mutated into hyper-intimate scrapbooks of days spent cooped up inside.

      “What makes people heroic and what makes them feel members of a community?” One answer, even though it sounds silly, is posting. You have a moral responsibility to post. I want to see you, even if I didn’t really think so before.

      So to me the author of this piece comes off as a bit of a dour edgelord but I still think he makes some great observations. This might be my favorite:

      What the Twittering Machine offers is not death, precisely, but oblivion—an escape from consciousness into numb atemporality, a trance-like “dead zone” of indistinguishably urgent stimulus.

      This rings true to me and I feel like it goes hand-in-hand with the rise of benzodiazepines, both prescription and recreational. It's a weird thing to crave a drug that doesn't really get you high in the traditional sense but instead just numbs you to reality.

      • bill
        Top reader of all timeScoutScribe
        7 months ago

        What if the reason we tweet is because we wish we were dead?

    • bartadamley
      Top reader this weekScout
      7 months ago

      Fascinating piece, a different approach from what I've mostly seen regarding social media's upheaval of all social dynamics. To think that instead we may be obsessed with writing, is an interesting concept...

      “Twitter is not real life,” a line intended as a kind of cutting warning, serves equally as an advertisement for the platform. But what is at stake here is not “reality.” It’s time. Seymour compares the Twittering Machine to the chronophage, “a monster that eats time.”

      To view social media platforms as these "unrealities" is thought-provoking. I mean simply life is put on hold, when we really take a step back and look at our consumption of social media products. The time-sucking monsters that they are... it makes one ponder their usage of these platforms and reflect if it truly helps us in any way, sort or fashion.

    • Alexa7 months ago

      Best thing I've read in a while. Endlessly entertaining and funny, but also got the wheels spinning. Love that combo.

      Rather than wondering ponderously if this is “cancel culture” or whatever, we might ask ourselves: Why the fuck were all these people tweeting? What were they thinking? What were they hoping to accomplish? What was the cost-benefit analysis that led them to think continued participation in social media was a good idea?