The Toxic Platform

This week I decided to delete Twitter from my phone. It’s by far the social media that I find myself using the most and I have to accept that I have something of an addiction to it. It’s not healthy at all to be addicted to a thing that isn’t real. So I deleted it from my phone and now use it on my laptop when I’m sat down to write and I find myself on it far less often than usual. And guess what? My mind has been less plagued by anxiety, anger and rage as a result. Who woulda thought!

I think the main source of this anxiety which I glean from Twitter is sourced from the endless scrolling through, angry tweets, bad takes, and misinformed opinions. Everyone has their thoughts and nobody is willing to think they might be wrong. It’s an incredibly toxic environment and it does nothing for the collective mental health of our society to be constantly on the platform.

When you step back for a minute, and realise there is a world outside Twitter, you realize what Twitter actually does to your brain. By perpetuating polarity of opinion, it reduces your ability to think for yourself by making you choose between teams of people. Man vs. woman, left vs. right, black vs. white etc. It makes no sense to think of human beings in terms of teams, but Twitter does well to make us believe we should.

“Which side are you on?”

If you’re within the mind-frame that one must pick a side and that there are people you must always hate, then I’m sorry to tell you that you’ve lost your way. That isn’t, and shouldn’t be, the goal. We shouldn’t be discussing things in order to win, or get one up, or prove that our opinions are right and others’ are wrong. Human progress shouldn’t be about winning, but it certainly is being viewed that way now.

If you dismiss, ignore, ridicule, berate, hate and discriminate against people who you consider to be on “the other team”, then you are part of the problem that all of these other issues are a symptom of. It’s human nature to want to be accepted and part of the bigger crowd and so we join up with ideologies, and assume the opinions of others as our own because it’s easier than the alternative. The alternative is of course, thinking for yourself, by yourself, with purpose to try and figure out what you actually believe, rather than what you think you should believe in order to be liked.

Just because something is easy, doesn’t make it right, and allowing yourself to adopt the opinions and values of others because you couldn’t be bothered to think for yourself is certainly easy, and not at all right.

I deleted Twitter this week, and I realised the power it has on its users. It forces us to pick teams, and that’s exactly why there is so much hatred in the world right now.

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