Last July I deleted my Twitter account. Why? Partly because Twitter blocked me first. Why? Because I commented on a thread about a purported sexual misconduct involving the senior pastor of COZA and wife of famous singer, Timi Dakolo. I presume the tweep being an “influencer” (although a young and dynamic entrepreneur) must have reported my questions that I hoped could make things clearer. Questions that needed answering for an accusation of such gravity to be reasonably debated. It was a public post meant to stir conversations and perspectives about sexual misconduct, rape in particular. I did not think it was written to entertain only sympathies with no questions. For Twitter, I suppose in that scenario, everyone should think the same way. The story itself, the lawsuit that followed and outcomes are in public space and beyond the scope of this article.
In recent months, I have closely followed Jordan Peterson, a popular Canadian professor of psychology on YouTube. This academic, who although sometimes tagged as controversial, is in my opinion a voice of reasoning in this modern chaos of human identity, gender identity and extreme leftism. He is loved by many but loathed by a significant few. Going by most comments on his videos and questions asked during public debates, he obviously has far more lovers than haters. I love him and can’t see why anyone would hate him. But that’s me. He speaks to all about taking responsibility. Carrying your own cross. Speaking your truth and not lying. Engaging yourself and throwing yourself at the very things you dread. All these can make an already chaotic, perhaps naturally self-destructing life better for you and for everyone directly or remotely. But like straight-talking Piers Morgan, who also I annoyingly love, Mr Peterson reports being trolled a lot on Twitter. He came to a conclusion that his real life experience was different from what happened on Twitter which is a sea of faceless people who could be respectful, fanatic, or hateful. He said he has significantly reduced his engagement on Twitter to, I believe, almost nothing.
On Twitter you see fellows, whom I suspect to be predominantly millennials, who haven’t made significant impact in this world, yet, become self-made jury and judges of accomplished voices of reason. One of such perplexing experiences I had on Twitter was that of Wole Soyinka being dragged online when he was asked to get up from his seat by a young bloke. You were privileged to sit beside Prof Soyinka and the only thing you could ask him is to ask him to get up from your damned business class window seat! I could not bear the stupidity. For me, to hell with that window seat! I will engage him positively throughout the flight! Yes, people are entitled to their opinion but I couldn’t bear the convenience or the audacity that many young fellows had to insult and haul abuse on him on Twitter. I was sad. I’m sure they felt they had authority behind the comfort of their keypads. On the other hand, I felt most people would actually not do what they wrote. They would be more than awed. This was for likes and retweets. Or Twitter wokeness. I felt it wasn’t real after all. Maybe those comments were paid to generate reactions and keep the conversation going. Twitter meanwhile making more money in ads. Who knows?
I spent more time being amazed at the kind of things people argue about on Twitter. Mostly people’s personal lives especially about celebrities. It’s like keeping up with the Kardashians. I could not keep up or put up with such nothingness anymore. Things that don’t add sugar to my cup of tea. I had wasted time trying to feel heard by replying, cautiously, obnoxious comments and often willful stupidity. Although admittedly I didn’t have much followers, every like, reply or retweet was a dopamine burst. Until it wanes and you look for more gist and tweets and more tweets and more gist. Sometimes waiting for the next tweet on your timeline. Refreshing and refreshing. Hours and hours. Lost sleep. Lost real life connections. Some lose their jobs because of tweets. Many become clinically depressed.
The number of utterly idiotic posts that were generated by people just to create retweets, replies and likes were astonishing. Paid bots. Paid trends. It almost became like every Friday night, Lagos Twitter had a story to chew on. I, among countless tweeps, were being used for marketing purpose. Don’t get me wrong, marketing is good. I would use social media to sell anything good. I have read very informative posts and followed trends on Twitter that I knew were real and mattered. But five months off Twitter, which I have often touted as the intelligentsia of all social media, I don’t miss it. Twitter does not miss me either. It wont miss anyone (not even Donald Trump). I discovered the real deal is in real life. Real people. Family. Life connections and conversations. Daily business. Real news. Having your own true voice, not drowning in a sea of trends, hyper-wokeness, influencers or some short-lived dopamine adventure.
People have met important persons in their lives through social media. Countless. I know a few. But I guess for me it has not been the experience and I had to make the decision that was right for me. A decision that was literarily and connotatively bigger than Twitter temporarily suspending me in the first place. Delete.
And two other things…
Sorry, not here, in my next posts. Smiles