Ghastly, ignorant, twat

The party wins a general election and at midnight, on what comes to be known as Social Media Freedom Day, the prime minister pushes a giant button that blocks all access to social media. Crowds cheer. On the anniversary of Social Media Freedom Day – which becomes a bank holiday, of course – children burn effigies of Mark Zuckerberg and dress up as the Twitter bird.

I write this as someone who owes her career and her partner to social media. I had no journalism qualifications, connections or experience when I began blogging in the mid-2010s, and through Twitter I was able to get a paid internship that gave me my start in journalism. My boyfriend and I connected through Instagram after years of liking each other’s posts. So much of my personal, and professional happiness has been made possible through social media.

But as time has gone on I have become more and more certain that the solution to many of the most pressing issues of our time is simply to switch social media off.

Nope, she doesn’t turn it around at the end:

Of course I could delete all my social media accounts. Cancel my season ticket to The Discourse; stop watching as a new villain of the day is crowned on Twitter. You think I don’t want to do that? I Google “lighthouse keeper jobs Orkney” twice a week. But I’m a journalist. The editors who commission me are on social media. I worry about disappearing. And besides, I’m addicted. I’ve checked Twitter eight times writing this piece.

I need a responsible adult to do it for me. I’ve had enough of the bad feelings machine. Won’t somebody switch it off? Please? Can we switch it off?

7 billion people must be denied a pleasure because on Guardian journalist has a personal wish.

19 thoughts on “Ghastly, ignorant, twat”

  1. “I need a responsible adult to do it for me.”

    Move to Scotland or Wales. Can’t guarantee the ‘responsible adult’ but you will certainly be told how to behave.

  2. I like the way she defines freedom as being forbidden to do something. And no doubt she’d bitch that once she was no longer a journalist, she wasn’t getting the money anymore.

  3. Looks like she was being a bit tongue in cheek. I’d be willing to back her up on shutting off the Twitter sewer though.

  4. Well, Twitter is a cultural cancer, especially the infection of the worst of US culture into ours. If Twitter fucked off tomorrow, or at least we severed the Atlantic data cable, I think our culture would be saner and less confrontational.

  5. I see a (niche) business here – the Soviet nonsmoking airplane seat plan.

    The joke is that a nonsmoker needed to go on an Aeroflot flight back in the bad old days, but he wanted a seat in the nonsmoking section. So he reserved one, but when he got on the plane and it got to cruising altitude, everyone around him lit up. So he called the stewardess over and complained. She examined his ticket and then gravely announced “It is correct, you are in a non-smoking seat. You are not allowed to smoke in that seat.”

    The business idea is to sign a contract with someone who is then allowed to forbid you from any use of social media for a period of time. Of course this would effectively give them power of attorney over you, but for a Guardian reporter this might be a feature…

  6. Bloke in North Dorset

    M,

    That is no joke.

    When I started flying a lot in ’94, I asked BA for a no smoking seat in my club profile. I was in business class on my way to HK and when I dropped my seat back to sleep the guy in the seat across the isle was smoking and my head was about 2′ from his cigarette.

    I called the stewardess and she said that yes, they get lots of complaints, but its the way the filled the seats. Non smokers from the front backwards, smokers from the back forwards.

  7. Cheer the beneficent Great Leader who has the courage to force you to do the thing you want.

    Even if he has to kill you to make it happen.

  8. The Guardian and its writers crave a world ruled by benevolent rulers who will tell them how to live and make all their decisions for them. Many would probably actually enjoy living in that world, even if the royal rulers were not all that benevolent. They are very frustrated with the millions, and perhaps billions, of people who think the idea sucks.

  9. What’s even sillier is that she apparently thinks that there is such a thing as ‘social media’.

    There isn’t.

    There’s just “websites” of various capabilities.

    You can’t ‘cut off social meeja’

    You might be able to block all traffic to/from known things, but – if there’s demand – new ones will spring up.

    And of course, a government that would seek to please the plaintive wailings of idiots like the ‘journalist’ would make good use of the freed-up attention span and create something even more horrible than Zuckerland.

    But if she’s serious, she could start a social movement which sought to cancel any ‘journalist’ or ‘influencer’ who used Twitter (etc). O’course, might be difficult to promulgate the cancelations, but oh well. It’d be good to see them all at each others throats..

  10. There’s no such thing as “social media”, it’s all just humans talking to other humans – eugh, how HORRID! It must be banned!!!!

    Even worse: it’s humans talking to other humans about what *they* want to talk about. Good god! How *DARE* they talk about stuff that isn’t what we’ve decided that they should talk about!

    It’s the knee-jerk reaction of authoritatians throughout history. Humans must not be allowed to communicate with other humans unless it is allowed by us, we who obviously will be the ones in control.

  11. “The Guardian and its writers crave a world ruled by benevolent rulers who will tell them how to live and make all their decisions for them.”

    More grist to my theory that most Leftists are people who never left childhood. They all crave the certainty of the parent/child relationship, with them as the child of course. The idea of being responsible for oneself is terrifying to them.

    The other section of Leftists are the psychopaths who want to be in charge of people, they get off on the power. Think the evil grin that John McDonnell gets when contemplating doing something unspeakable to Tory voters……..

    The latter is a fairly small proportion of humanity, unfortunately the former is a fairly large one and gives the psychos a massive voter base.

  12. “I had no journalism qualifications, connections or experience when I began blogging in the mid-2010s,”

    And you still don’t have, dear. Now bugg’r off and please don’t procreate.

  13. “I had no journalism qualifications” – Nor did most journalists, until recently. Writing cogently is a core skill, part of most degree qualifications.

  14. “Of course I could delete all my social media accounts. ”

    It’s as if that would cut you off from the world.. As much as a certain ultracrepidarian though he could contain our Host when he blocked a Twatter account. How well that worked…

    And as Boganboy noticed: Freedom is not “what you are allowed by TPTB”.
    Freedom is the ability to kick the busybodies in the teeth when they interfere in your private life, and they’re not willing to listen to reason.
    So far, I’m still putting the emphhasis on “reason”, but the balance is rapidly tipping nowadays.

  15. “I need a responsible adult to do it for me.”

    If she thinks a politician is a responsible adult then she definitely needs someone to help her…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *