By Anne T. Donahue
Well, congratulations to all of us: with the eradication of the double verification-verification on Twitter, we’re one step closer to bullying Elon Musk off his new website and maybe also the internet. And unlike so many polarizing opinions, I believe in my soul that this is one we can get behind and move forward with as a collective. After all, one of the richest men in the world now spends his free time on an app where most of us share photos of possums screaming into microphones (my personal favourite), so as far as I’m concerned, we are but one hashtag away from him paying us $8/each to please just leave him alone.
So when that happens, I have some suggestions of how we can use Twitter going forward. All I ask is that you please remember that it’s already a cursed website, and should it spontaneously combust in the wake of it doing what it does best (sparking discussions between the worst types of people), we did our best with what we were given: 280 characters that epitomized chaos, usually not in the best way.
More jokes about Elon Musk
I mean, let’s start where it matters. I don’t condone bullying, but I do condone making a terrible person feel foolish for being a fool. And let’s face facts: the jokes have been sublime. I have laughed alone, to myself, often and loudly, and I pray each night before bed that the following morning will deliver me the same.
A link to where you all buy your cool clothes, but on sale
And not Shein. (I didn’t know what Shein was until like, two months ago. This isn’t because I’m a clothes snob, it’s because I like to shop at Value Village like the financially-strapped student I have become. Also, by eyeballing the site, I can confirm that my body is not made for anything available, and that I am right in sticking to Levis jeans and sweatshirts previously worn by your dad . . . ‘s dad.)
But that said, accounts linking directly to the cool clothes that I like but can’t properly articulate would be welcome. Tell me where I can find nineties Gap. Show me where the outfit Chessy wears in The Parent Trap is. Are we feeling good about cargo pants again? Should I buy them? Where should I buy them, and where would they fit most like the kind I had in grade ten that I outgrew? I need to be directed like a little baby. Multiple accounts should be dedicated to “Here is where to buy clothes if you are 37 and so tired, so very tired, but you would like to look at least kind of nice.”
Cold, hard celebrity gossip
Just like the Don’t Worry Darling month. You remember that? Do you remember the pure adrenaline that accompanied that video Olivia Wilde made for Shia LaBeouf that I will never unsee, despite the cries of torment I will make from even beyond the grave? I do, I remember it. And I also remember that’s what Twitter does best: deliver strange news that doesn’t matter in the big scheme of things, but makes us forget that the world as we know it is on fire, and most of us are just people holding a garden hose and trying to put out the embers.
Deep-dives into song lyrics/award show speeches/longform interviews
When I was a child, I read Nancy Drew books religiously and I convinced myself that should the opportunity arise, I could solve a mystery. And alas, I still believe this is true. However, if you care about Twitter enough to have made it this far through this piece, you are also likely as lazy as I am. And I don’t feel like investigating anything unless the proof is served to me on a beautiful platter that I can sift through and make fit with a narrative that I have concocted in my mind. The year is 2022 and I’m still dissecting “All Too Well.” Clearly I – and probably you – need an outlet to map out a string board of theories that hold no basis in fact.
But no more strange conspiracy/bot/fandom accounts, please and thank you
This is exactly what Twitter should be, going forward: none of the aforementioned. Just . . . no hate mongers in general, please. No harmful freaks, I beg of you. Get them out of here. I know this was supposed to be a fun little piece, but it can’t go without saying that when Twitter is great it is good, and when it is bad, it is an inferno of death. But alas, we are all addicted. So the only solution is to dream of a world where the worst people alive have no idea how to log in – which would be another fun way to spend time on Twitter: brainstorming that.
Morphing it into whatever the mall cafeteria is
I have a theory about Twitter and the internet in general: it would be 100% better if it harnessed the energy from a really good mall food court (or cafeteria?) where everyone just kind of sat around, making jokes, and roasting people who are the worst. Also: fries. And most importantly: food that by no means makes sense outside a food court situation.
But I’m being serious: social media has always ruled harder when it feels like an extension of when we all congregated together as sweet baby teens (or twenty-somethings – I don’t know your life) and hung out, shooting the shit, and showing off the things we loved. Would petty issues arise? Of course! People are bananas 99% of the time, and human nature isn’t changing anytime soon. But in those spaces, most of us still had the wherewithal to keep it fun/cool/pleasant/something that falls under the umbrella of “it’s embarrassing to be anything but those things.” It should be embarrassing to act like a cruel idiot on a social media site. It should be worse than when I kept my gym shoes in a bag in my locker and the boy I liked asked, “What’s that smell?” when he was hanging out nearby one day. Human decency ranks above all else, and in a dream world, Twitter would become a place where it could thrive sometimes.
Or, at the very least, maybe it’ll be a place where we can annoy all the bad people so much that they find their way into the abyss and scream into it instead.
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