Photo: StruffelProductions on Pixabay
Suggested Listening: “Ammosel” by Billow Observatory
RIP Twitter is trending once again. I read that, rolled my eyes with contempt, and thought back to the squirrel. There are dozens of the furry creatures scurrying about the yard, prepping for winter. But one squirrel in particular has captured my attention. Every day he nibbles at the thick green husks of black walnuts. He holds the fruit in his two front claws. I hear his teeth scraping against the shell. His white, fluffy tummy wiggles while he chomps. His bushy tail is upright but curled at the tip. His eyes are bright while he focuses.
This squirrel sits in the shade of the lone walnut tree. A neighbor has placed a vintage wrought-iron garden chair abut the thick trunk. The squirrel rests there while the neighbor is at work. Reenergized, the happy squirrel climbs the walls of this building and stuffs untapped black walnuts into inconvenient places as though my window sills are his pantry. He stores the fruit between a wall and a window hinge. I told him, “This won’t do because I’ll have to close these windows at some point.”
Did he listen? No. We do not speak each other’s language, but that’s beside the point.
Everything he needs is in that tree. I’ve said that before here-on-blog and on social media, but the idea will not leave my mind. Everything he needs is in that tree. He has a place to sleep, a place to romp and play, a refrigerator, a restaurant, his family, and his friends.
I thought back to the days when life was simpler. I didn’t own a car, a television, a computer, or have access to the internet. I had more money to spend and was, in most cases, happier. Lately, my days are spent looking for steady work and freelance gigs to pay the rising cost of rent, internet, phone, food, transportation, and dozens of subscription services I’m supposed to have.
This morning, I came across a post — better known by most as a Tweet — that stated Elon Musk would charge every user for using his social media platform. RIP Twitter is the death of fun, a platform that used to be interesting. So say the unverified.
To me, the letter X is generic. Twitter rebranded reminds me of outer space. Inhabiting a frozen, barren planet does not appeal to my aesthetic sensibility. And neither does X-rated. Logging onto that platform feels uncomfortable as of late. I’m an imposter in a world of AI enthusiasts, avatars calling me a “brokie,” BitCoin fanatics, and generic copywriters I’m convinced have all taken the same YouTube courses.
The adamant insist that Twitter is going down the tubes and that Elon Musk will go broke in the process. But Elon Musk didn’t achieve billionaire status because he’s an idiot — just the opposite.
I, for one, am not leaving the platform until forced to cough up dough I’m not inclined to blow. But I, for one, am not interested in paying to see Big Pharma ads from companies I’m convinced are out for profit only and mean more harm than good. I’m in a Catch 22, to cite Joseph Heller. I have a Love v. Hate relationship with social media, exacerbated by the branding I know I need but struggle to accomplish. I’m not a brand, on-brand, or for sale.
To succeed these days, we must declare our enemy. That’s the new marketing angle. Divide and conquer. Summon the tribe. Demand a boycott. Cancel the successful.
Since I’m an author, I’m to declare a genre. If I don’t, readers will not find me on Amazon or on shelves. Without a genre in mind before I write the first word, my story will have no substance. I’m to pigeonhole myself but won’t.
This is content. I’m writing “content” now. Content is how we are, supposedly, found. But I miss the mailbox. I miss the days of holding a handwritten letter in my hand. People do still gather around the mailbox. Neighbors do help neighbors without expecting payment in return.
So, what does RIP Twitter mean? Is the platform going under? I doubt that very much. I see X as the new ABC or CBS. Perhaps that is all.
RIP Twitter may need a new translation. Unlike the busy squirrel focussed on the wondrous, we’re bored. Or maybe I’m build differently. Only time will tell.
I’ll leave this post open to moderated comments. I’m interested in what you lovely people have to say.