June 7, 2017

ELIZABETH SCALIA: Oh, for the good old days of Twitter.

You’d think at least the chugging hysteria born of the daily headlines would keep it interesting, but you’d be wrong. Unless one is entertained by the possibility that the nation may have a collective stroke in mid Re-Tweet, which I am not, there is precious little new thinking or creative expression coming through the threads. It is not interesting to see the same people, saying the same things. It is not entertaining to witness such a dismaying contempt for curiosity, or to comprehend my own. There is a busy-ness of words, many of them issuing from people whose faces have been before ours for decades, but the messages are rote or kneejerk, and all of them seem to reduce discourse down to, “Oh, shut up, and get away from our lunchroom table.”

It’s a tribal thing, really, but on social media it feels like everyone is on auto-pilot, so long enthralled to the idol of their own ideology that they aren’t even really thinking about it anymore, they’re just moving with the mob, and they can’t tell you why. Or they can, but only because, as I wrote in Strange Gods, “We can always give a million reasons to justify our hatreds, but our love? Often we cannot explain our love at all, except as an open and full-hearted mystery…”

I miss the old Twitter, too, before the company discouraged honest give-and-take by going Full SJW.

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