Sunday, June 12, 2016

Ordinary people Twitter is not a slur

Recently, I've begun to think more and more about this phrase. Ordinary people twitter is not a slur. As a slogan, it lacks the necessary brutal directness of impact. As a subtle statement, it creeps up on you and surprises you when you least expect it.

In order to understand this phrase, it is necessary to understand what this mythical "ordinary people twitter" is. Who are these people, and what do they want?

Thing is. It is more of a negative identity than anything else. That is to say, it's easier to say what it is not in order to gradually approach an understanding of it, than to approach it head on with a declarative statement such as "ordinary people twitter is".

Ordinary people twitter does not have an emergency strategy for when hundreds of angry young men emerge in your mentions and threaten to spill over to your friends and family. It does not have such strategies for the very good reason that it does not need them. The thought of needing these strategies is absurd on the face of it - yet there it is.

But what do you do when your notifications are all about how much people hate you? What do you do when your family texts you to say that strange people are calling them? What do you do when they are outside your home, after learning the address from a public posting?

If you scratch your head in confusion at these questions and their relevance to twitter - congratulations. You are a solid member of ordinary people twitter.

The phrase "ordinary people twitter is not a slur" is a very nostalgic statement. It reminds of a time when you could post that you were getting a sandwich and get at most one fav. Nothing much happened, and that was okay. You posted ordinary things about ordinary things, and that was that. Life moved on.

Being a member of ordinary people twitter is not a bad thing. It is a good thing.

But it suggests the extraordinary nature of the situation the rest of us find ourselves in. The extraordinary twitter. Those who keep a watchful eye open for people acting in explicit bad faith, and live with the awareness that twitter admins - working on the assumption that ordinary people twitter is the only twitter - won't do pretty much of anything to help when the raging hordes come hording.

This is not a healthy state of mind. And it is not a healthy state of things. For anyone involved.

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