Musk’s idea of ​​Twitter is dead ~ Washington


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Twitter was doomed as an idea, if not as a company.

In his first chaotic weeks As the owner of Twitter, Elon Musk has repeatedly invoked a decades-old metaphor for the site: Twitter is a global “town square.”

The description — which Musk owes to former Twitter CEO Dick Costolo — envisions Twitter as a place where the masses come together to share what they find interesting, meaningful, or meaningful, and to talk to others about it. Facebook didn’t describe itself as a marketplace, but it was founded on a similar principle.

But Musk or not, the vision of a global city square is dead. We’ve seen too much and don’t want to watch, listen, or trust the arguing voices crammed into one place.

That’s why there may never be anything like Twitter or Facebook again. The world is too divided and divided for an app to bring us together.

This vision of connecting the world and bringing the masses together has always been partly fictitious and quite problematic. But the idea also has an air of beauty and truth.

Even if you’ve never used Twitter or reluctantly wandered to Facebook, you’ve gleaned some of the hope baked into social media. There was a desire to expand your human interactions beyond the physical world and an implied desire to better understand one another.

Sending to the world can be profound and beneficial. In the hands of a Minneapolis teenager, Darnella Frazier, social media helped uncover the murder of George Floyd. It empowers the people of Iran to show the world and each other their determination to gain freedom. We once joked together about free-roaming llamas. It could also show or encourage the worst of us.

Be that as it may, many blue-eyed Silicon Valley technologists no longer imagine raising billions for a common goal. This is a principle of cryptocurrency and the associated blockchain technology nobody can be trusted and nobody knows anything, as Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey recently said in a few tweets. Basically, the dream of a global city square is for chumps.

What we have instead of a town square is an explosion of private parties. The text and audio app Discord, Snapchat, Twitch, Truth Social, Group Text Chats and Zoom is all about meeting up with people we want to be with.

In China, billions of people still use Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, TikTok, WhatsApp and WeChat. But the marketplace principle is fraying.

They’re not on YouTube to hear everyone, they’re to tune into self-selected communities centered around Mr. Beast, “CoComelon,” or the guy who roasts the perfect Thanksgiving turkey. Reddit, Substack, and Tumblr also work this way. Twitter itself may always have been at its best, not as a central space but as smaller communities of interest or identity like Black Twitter or UFC fans.

And if Facebook’s animating idea was that you were just a click away from a meaningful connection, TikTok’s big idea is that you don’t need friends at all.

Instead, computers will guess your desires and spit out bite-sized moments designed to please you. Maybe you never confront yourself with an uncomfortable idea. Mark Zuckerberg is redesigning Facebook and Instagram to work more that way.

A part of me mourns the loss of the principle behind Facebook and Twitter as focal points for global conversations. And part of me thinks good release from all of this.

Being thrown into the human cacophony was often exhausting and terrifying. As in the real world, the powerful often had more say in city squares than the powerless. And why should we even have to listen to those idiots over there?

The idea of ​​mass social media was perhaps always doomed to fail. In our age of abundance and fracture, it’s difficult to get behind a megawatt movie star, buy all that album, or trust the same truth.

Perhaps the magic of social media as a global marketplace is that it happened in the first place. It was a temporary joint deception.

Why Christmas shopping is different this year

This week marks the official start of the seasonal shopping craze, but you may have noticed that the “Christmas” sales started weeks or months ago. Yes indeed.

Your shopping habits in 2022 are strange. All those leggings, TVs, and bikes that sold out during our pandemic-related shopping frenzy? No, you don’t want her that much anymore. Businesses are stuck with a bunch of goods that aren’t selling well. Inflation is changing what you buy, and more shopping has moved from the internet to in-person stores.

These unexpected events have upset typical retail holiday plans and will result in some great deals – and a bunch of bad ones – over the next few weeks.

To help you navigate a confusing moment, my colleague Jackie Peiser has published a Christmas shopping survival guide with money-saving tips.

➦ A big whoop from Jackie: More and more stores and websites are charging money for the return of items. You might want to take extra care when choosing gifts (and self-gifts) so you don’t hit your cousin with a waffle iron that he has to pay to return.

A tip from Laura Wittig, founder of the climate-conscious shopping and information site Brightly: Use wish lists from many online shops or share your wishes with friends and family members. It may take the surprise out of giving, but buying the right thing the first time is better for the giver, the recipient, and the planet.

Is Amazon Prime worth it for you? The Post’s Helpdesk team has put together a handy quiz on your shopping and other habits to answer this question.

Help us to help you. How do you navigate online shopping for the holidays? What are your strategies for buying the right things or buying less? Email us at [email protected] or ask us your questions about the technology in your life. We’re all in the same boat.

At all times, your wireless service provider keeps track of who you’re calling, where you’re surfing the web, and where you are in order to throw ads at you and make more money. Yes I know.

You can say “damn no” to that. Tatum Hunter walks you through the settings you need to change at each of the three largest US phone companies. It’s a small task to feel empowered today. And read more from Tatum.

Brag about YOUR tiny win! Tell us about an app, gadget or tech trick that made your day a little bit better. We might feature your advice in a future issue of The Tech Friend.