I first heard of “twitter” on a summer afternoon. I bummed a ride into town from my mom to my college rhetorical composition class. NPR introduced me to “microblogging” on the ride to school. Despite the fact that I was an early adopter of LiveJournal, an early user of Myspace for blogging, a blogger on WordPress in its first year… despite the fact I’d experimented with extremely short blogs, I thought twitter (and microblogging) was stupid.
Surprisingly to many of my millennial piers, I never got over my distaste for twitter. I don’t like microblogging. I don’t like Facebook either. I believe that these “microblogging” platforms are merely social media datamines for efficient web 2.0 advertising. As an aside, I challenge anyone who disagrees with that characterization to peruse their financial statements with me and point to where the numbers are lying about that.
In 2012, I was dragged into the microblogging universe by the U.S. Presidential Elections. I was involved with the campaign of a very small moderate Right Wing political party in that campaign. I watched twitter on election night, deeply disappointed that Obama did not lose, but not having a complete meltdown.
It was that week that I left twitter. I watched as Donald Trump- at that point, a prodigious user of twitter- had a complete freak out. It was embarrassing. I did not think people needed to be “marching on Washington.” I did not think we should “have a revolution in this country.” Those wondering what I’m talking about- maybe they missed out on this real-time PR disaster- should check it out for themselves.
The truth is, I don’t find microblogs motivating. 140 characters is not enough to make me want to have “a revolution.” I’m the type of person who wants context, evidence, and robust support for these kinds of ideas. I don’t read Donald Trump’s microblog. But I would read Donald Trump’s blog.
The blog versus microblog dichotomy really resembles the Aristotle vs. Plato divide. Ask yourself, how closely does the distribution of the populace that prefers microblogs align with the distribution of general Platonists in our society? I’d imagine it’s a potentially tight correlation. Whatever your opinion of Donald Trump, is he not a radical Platonist? I’m referring to rhetorical constructs such as “Make America Great Again” and “We’re gonna do X better than person Y has. We’re gonna do X better than ever before.”
In conclusion, POTUS being a preeminent microblogger has not made me flock to these platforms. I haven’t made a twitter account to follow him, or anyone else. I do enjoy looking at Twitchy.com, because their method of curating the marquee dramas of the microblog wars makes reading up on these topics much more enjoyable. But I’d much rather read something like War On the Rocks (a National Security analysis blog) than Michael Flynn’s twitter feed. I hope the Administration makes some paean to us Aristoteleans of the blogosphere.