The Shrieking Twitterverse
Those who have read my stuff for any length of time know that I am, for the most part, a big fan of social media. Most of the close friends and acquaintances I’ve met through politics in the last ten years I originally met on Twitter.
Twitter was integral to the activist coordination we did in the early days of the Tea Party movement. In fact, I’ve long insisted that conservatives did more to make Twitter wildly popular than liberals did. Jack Dorsey is still probably stinging from the knowledge that his platform played such an important role in conservative activism for a few years. That would certainly explain why he’s such a hater now.
Those truly were halcyon days for those of us on the Right. A frequent lament I hear from conservative friends on social media is “Remember when Twitter used to be fun?”
Yeah, I’d “Twitter DJ” on Friday nights while doing laundry and getting a buzz. Then I would often launch into a drunk 4 AM pro-life rant. All without having to leave my house. As social excesses go, it wasn’t bad.
The environment is a lot more hostile to conservatives than it was ten years ago, but one can still completely curate one’s own Twitter experience, so it’s not all the platform’s fault.
There are some decided pluses and minuses for political conservatives when it comes to social media. I’ll focus on Twitter because that is my platform of choice. To me, Facebook is a wasteland of people who all seem to have pets that just died an hour ago. Twitter for slow kids, I call it.
Here are some of the ups and downs of engaging in social media as I see them, for conservatives, anyway. I will begin with the downs.
We’re All Probably Going To Be Banned One Day
Well, on Twitter anyway.
Jack Dorsey really does hate conservatives and he thinks he’s rich enough so he doesn’t care if he eventually nukes us all. Twitter will eventually be reduced to Cher vomiting emojis all over the place and Alyssa Milano weeping on video because she saw an American flag being flown from a house.
Mark Zuckerberg never thinks he’s rich enough so he’s a little more willing to play ball with us. By merely not gaming Facebook’s rules to get rid of us, unhinged leftists have actually been complaining that conservatives dominate Facebook.
Both Gab and Parler have positioned themselves as free-speech alternatives to Twitter and Facebook. I’ve been somewhat active on the latter recently if you want to give me a follow there. It’s always wise to have a backup in case Jack Dorsey decides to go scorched-earth on us.
Oh, The Mood Swings
For reasons that I will never grasp, people let social media affect their moods, especially Twitter.
I freely admit that I don’t let much get to me. One of the advantages of getting older is that it becomes very easy to realize how much crap isn’t worth getting worked up about. I can’t really game out any scenarios where a tweet would send me into an emotional tailspin. If the news on Twitter is truly getting to you then maybe don’t follow so many downer accounts. With Tweetdeck you can create columns where you see only what you want to see. I follow accounts like Super 70s Sports and the Babylon Bee just for fun. I also follow a lot of art accounts that just tweet pictures that are nice to look at all day.
No stress at all there.
The Misinformation Is Real and It’s All Coming From the Left
We’ve all heard the shrieks coming from the Left about misinformation being peddled to gullible voters. In that version of the story, it’s conservatives, China, and ZOMG RUSSIA who are doing all of the peddling.
In reality, it’s them who are doing it.
The thoroughly evil Democrat Media Complex uses Twitter rather deftly to create and perpetuate false narratives.
A favorite trick — especially of The New York Times and The Washington Post — in the Trump era is to write an only slightly misleading headline for an article then write an even more misleading tweet to promote the article knowing full well that most lefty sheep would only read the tweet and form an opinion based on that. I started noticing this very shortly after President Trump got into office. It’s such a powerful technique that more often than not the headline and tweet would be debunked halfway through the very article they were written about.
I had a conversation with one of my liberal friends a few weeks ago that was indicative of how good the media has become at being full time B.S. purveyors for the Democrats.
She was full of that frothing, anti-Trump anger that we’ve all come to expect from the Left.
Just about everything she was mad at was a media myth or gross misrepresentation. From the nonsense about Trump calling the virus a hoax to the almost immediately debunked USPS collection box conspiracy theory and many other things, she was raging at phantoms.
That’s a successful misinformation campaign.
And it ain’t coming from my side of the aisle.
Twitter Is Still a Superior News Source
Like or not, breaking news tends to hit Twitter quicker than anywhere else. That’s invaluable for those of us who write about topical things for a living, obviously. It’s also helpful for discerning consumers of the news, as I am sure all of you are.
Once you’ve determined which sources can be trusted, you’re going to be better informed by paying attention to Twitter. I have colleagues who don’t even like to engage on Twitter but still use it as a news feed.
This leads me to my final point…
The Ever-Shifting New Media Landscape
While the American mainstream political media still remains the 800 lb gorilla on the block, it’s an ailing, more lethargic gorilla. Conservative new media has had exponential growth in the last decade, and — like it or not — social media has been a big part of that.
The lefties are spreading their lies on social media, but we are also able to use social media to better monitor and counter those lies. Social media remains integral to our advertising and promotion plans, especially Facebook, despite my personal dislike for the platform.
You want us here punching back, and we do that better using social media to get out the word.
I get that there are some people who just don’t like social media at all. This isn’t really intended for them. This is for people who still want to be informed but are exasperated.
The good news is that you don’t have to be on Facebook or Twitter because me and my Townhall Media Mothership colleagues are there for you. And we will continue to be.
PJ Media Senior Columnist and Associate Editor Stephen Kruiser is the author of “Don’t Let the Hippies Shower” and “Straight Outta Feelings: Political Zen in the Age of Outrage,” both of which address serious subjects in a humorous way. Monday through Friday he edits PJ Media’s “Morning Briefing.” His columns appear twice a week.