Twitter is hopelessly and shamelessly biased. It’s haphazard in the applications of its ever-changing policies. It treats our own American politicians harsher than authoritarian leaders from Iran or China. Its leadership is a perfect personification of this Onion story. And…get this…you don’t actually have to use it at all.
None of you do.
Not once. Not ever.
And if you are currently in its throes, you can walk away today.
“But who do I have to argue with to cancel my subscription?” A valid, legitimate question. “I don’t have a half-hour to spend on the phone,” you may respond. I’ll let you in on an industry secret: you can just quit. No phone calls. No “please unsubscribe me, no offense, I just don’t have time to read you” emails to a publisher. No holds placed on a credit card. You can just…stop.
It takes less effort to not use Twitter than it takes to use it.
Now, I may get myself into trouble for spilling even more of the industry beans here, but that weird loophole I just described applies to all major social media platforms (or is it publishers? Josh Hawley, come to my aid!). You never have to log in to Facebook, Instagram, or Weibo ever again. No one from the government will whisk you away in the middle of the night. OK, maybe if you quit Weibo…
Worried you’ll miss out on the important thoughts of your favorite writers? Be an active consumer: visit websites, even pay for access. Or, if that’s too overwhelming, subscribe to a newsletter covering your topic of interest. They are legion (this very website has some great options). Or, you could listen to one of the more than 500,000 podcasts available on every conceivable subject.
Gosh, I may never work in this town again, but…you don’t have to stop with social media. You don’t have to use Google. You don’t have to use YouTube. You don’t have to use Spotify. You don’t even have to use Amazon.
If you think these platforms, publishers, and companies are mistreating you, your party, or your tribe: stop using them. As far as I can tell, constantly complaining about the bias and supposedly “monopolistic” nature of these companies hasn’t achieved very much at all. The alternatives may be less convenient, but they certainly exist. The pain of a potentially worse product will almost certainly be the least amount of suffering you ever endure. Frankly, some of them are rather good. DuckDuckGo and Brave are excellent alternatives to Google and Chrome.
Furthermore, you don’t have to watch cable news. You don’t have to watch network news. You don’t have to listen to talk radio. Imagine the Future You that never sees cable news nor the complaints about cable news on social media. That future can start today, with extraordinarily little effort at all on your part.
Here’s a “National Treasure”-level secret our media overlords won’t tell you, the one that actually might get me killed: People elected Democrats before MSNBC existed. Republicans won—and you’ll have to check my math on this—at least five presidential elections in the pre-Rush Limbaugh era. Republicans even won the popular vote in some of those.
The only medium that has existed for every federal election in the history of this country is the newspaper. So, maybe spend your energy there instead of on social media. Or, and here’s the tricky part, don’t—just save your breath and stop whining.