Twitter-pated

Give yourself a little more credit than the 280 characters Twitter gives you.

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When did we decide that our ideas were only worth a social post

More and more our attention spans wane

Giving way to impatient, impractical, impersonal interactions

Threads of abrupt, ill-conceived thought — 

There is something sinister about Twitter — the way you only have 280 characters to divulge an entire nest of thought. Need more? Start a thread — in one of the most visually unappealing and confusing formats possible. Puke out the first draft of useless verbal diarrhea, born into the world through some notion that the anger-induced opinion you seek to flaunt actually has substance and standing with everyone else. That the impossible-to-be-wrong idea you have about some cherry-picked topic actually needs your two cents to make a dollar.

Uh-oh! It’s war now. But not with guns, projecting speeding lines of burning metal, zipping through the air. No, these are lines of black ink — virtual nooses stretched out across our 3-inch wide phone screens. Every moment, every word, slipping the loop a slight bit tighter around the neck. A battle not won, but always waging. Wired into the mess of everyone’s broken emotion, searching for anything to compare, entertain, and abhor. Grasping at the societal spirit of being a part of something more. Something more.

Something more.

But isn’t that what everyone wants? Not to be idle, not to sit and press our thumbs deeply into the pixelated pool of anonymity. Not to scream into an emotionless shard of technologically-enhanced glass and expect it to reach back and hold you. A futile gesture, in seeking solace through society’s mental trash can.

You may not be willing to wallow in the garbage of everyone’s weak. It isn’t our aim to hop into back-alley dumpsters and begin eating blackened, half-peeled bananas. And yet it isn’t so different to engage with the hatred, disgust, and contempt awaiting online.

But here we find ourselves, with politicians, professionals, professors, porn-stars, and perfectly average people all shouting at the top of their pixelated lungs, craving to be pulled into the ever-prevalent spotlight. If only just for a moment. Pressing the exclamation point on their newest post a few too many times, posturing for the next poorly-explained ideologue to propose their purpose.

Somewhere down the line, we mixed up our loyalties — exchanging our commitment to each other and diversity for an allegiance toward being right. We forgot that parroting the ideologies of others turns us into the exact mechanism we jam our thumbs into everyday. When we champion the ideologies of others, without ever making them our own, we fail to bridge the gap between individuality and everyone else.

As hump-back nesters, we have been convinced that in order to be seen as trustworthy, loyal, and good, we must go down with our baby-bird beliefs. We must cinch the noose as tightly as possible, and hold fast to our crumbling ideologies, regardless of their shaky nature. Tears are weakness, true emotion shows cracks, and active listening has all but blown overboard into the depths of the hidden undergrowth.

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