10 Ways to fix Twitter
Hi folks, I’m not sure if you’ve noticed, but Twitter dot com is an extremely bad website. It’s filled with rampant harassment, people yelling over each other non-stop with bad takes stemming from minor misunderstandings, and meme-of-the moment bad topical joke generators like Emotionally Traumatized Lobot. These problems are cause enough alone to send people to the lifeboats, but to top things off, Twitter has been slowly tinkering with its formula, and threatening to remove the very chronological timeline that made it so appealing in the first place.
This impending seismic change to the site has bloggers wringing their hands over the fate of the site, but I’m a man of action. Here’s how you can finally fix Twitter, once and for all, to improve the user experience for everyone:
1: Put all of Twitter’s servers into a 1979 Ford Pinto and drive it into the San Francisco Bay
The fundamental problem of Twitter is that it is possible to visit the website Twitter.com, create an account, and log into the website and use its service. So long as there is a Twitter dot com, it will be possible to use Twitter dot com.
That’s where the small, somewhat explosive compact car comes in. If all the servers containing the data and processing power that allow Twitter to operate are piled into a small, notoriously unstable vehicle, and then pushed into the ocean, it will no longer be possible to log in to Twitter, and there will be no more bad tweets.
2: Find Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey’s address and camp outside his house with a couple Costco crates of raw eggs and keep on pelting his windows until he decides to take down the site.
Sometimes, it’s hard to make leaders see the course of action they need to take to save what they helm, especially when saving it involves burying it beneath the waves where no one can ever find it again. That’s where public coercion comes in, and that starts with a grassroots effort.
Jack Dorsey is, by all accounts, a generally decent man, at least by the standards of smarmy tech industry bros, and as such it is very likely that he will not last long under the stressful circumstances brought on by a horde of thousands positioned at his doorstep, constantly throwing eggs at him every time he leaves the house.
Given this kind of intense pressure, Dorsey is bound to cave to the whims of these protesters sooner rather than later, especially after the first 36 hours and the unrefrigerated eggs have turned. Exasperated, Dorsey will call a press conference, and at his egg-covered podium, announce that he has hired the Baldwin Brothers to pee on all the surge protector strips keeping the Twitter servers online.
3: Blissful ignorance
Sometimes, the best solutions are the simplest ones. How does that adage go? “Be the deleted account you want to see in the world.” Just roll out of bed tomorrow, and pretend this website doesn’t exist. Someone might share a screencap of a tweet on another social network — be sure to comment that the post isn’t loading for some reason, and stand your ground if anyone challenges you on this. Hold the line on this — don’t let any acknowledgement of Twitter enter the discussion. If someone asks you if you’re on Twitter be sure to very loudly yell, “Buddy, I’m right in front of you, how could I be on the shitter?”
4: I Know a Guy
Look, I didn’t want to bring this up, but I know we’re low on options . A roommate from college has a friend, and he’ll do like, whatever — but for the right price, you know? I’m just saying its on the table. Let me give you his number — but like, don’t say I gave you his number, ok?
Fuck. This website is bad. This website is so bad and I spend so much time on it. I’m never going to get these years back. My kids are going to ask me one day “Dad, what did you do when you were younger”, and I’m gonna have to tell them I sat at my desk in my pajamas and eagerly refreshed the page looking for funny comments about bad people. I tell myself I don’t have time in my day to do worthwhile things — I want to get back into doing volunteer work, I want to read more, I want to start going to the Gym, I want to actually have a clean room for once in my life — but I’m here. I’m still here, and I’m always going to be here so long as this stupid website is here, and I have no self control, so the only possible solution is for Twitter to shut down.
Please, Jack, I’m begging you. Please shut it down. Please.
6: Pee Poop Balls 420 69
Pee Poop Balls 420 69,
Pee Poop Balls 420 69,
If I keep tweeting variations of this,
Everything will be fine.
7: Let’s write a fake thinkpiece about it!
8: Let’s Make it into a Park!
The best answer to the Twitter crisis is to handle it in the way we’ve handled some of our most intimidating garbage piles — by covering it in grass, and turning it into a park! You know, for kids!
Look over there — you see that steaming pile of assholes using racial slurs ironically? It’s a swingset now! Those white nationalists chilling out in your mentions? They’ve been paved over, and a merry-go-round has been put in their place! How about all those washed-up stars joking about rape? Well, see, we built a slid — Wait. What’s that? Why is the ground moving?
Oh no. Oh God. They’re back. They’re coming through the soil. JAMES WOODS IS COMING OUT OF THE SOIL. OH MY GOD THINK OF THE CHILDRE —
9: I dunno, let’s have a town meeting about it?
Oh boy! It’s finally the day of the big Twitter Town Meeting! You’ve been printing out signs and stapling them to every telephone pole in a 5,933,541,678 block radius. You managed to book the local Holiday Inn’s biggest conference room, and you’ve even got some donuts in the back for people to nibble on while they’re waiting for things to start.
Most importantly, you’ve thrown off the attention of the librarians at the local public library, who were getting concerned when they looked over your shoulder, and saw you google “how to build a homemade EMP that can knock out power grids across an entire continent” and, “how to hire someone to set off an EMP to knock out power grids across an entire continent”. Luckily, they took your explanation that it was research for your dystopian sci-fi novel at face value. The best part: you’re doing that too! It’s called “Power Failure”, and its a gritty cyberpunk thriller in the vein of Snow Crash and Neuromancer. Critics are gonna love it, except they won’t really be able to review it for a wide audience, because there won’t be electricity anymore.
Anyways, the gang’s all here, all 1.1 billion of them, and it’s time to stall as your guy out in the Pasadena desert does his thing. “So,” you ask the crowd with some noted hesitation, “anyone seen any relate-able content lately?” Every single fucking hand shoots up, and you want too die (get it, this is a reference to the way people often spell this phrase on Twitter — our life is a giant unending ouroboros of recycled ideas!). As DongSlayer_HeckHole argues with Extremely_Sensitive_Lamb_Man about a picture of Kermit the frog removed from context, you look at your phone. No word from your dude. You’re counting on your dude — he’d better pull through.
All of a sudden, the room goes dark. He did it! The magnificent son of a bitch did it! Reports trickle in over the coming weeks through word of mouth — millions of people are dead after losing access to vital health services provided by electricity, to say nothing of all the traffic accidents and crashed airplanes. But it was worth it, all worth it, to shut down Emo Kylo Ren.
10: Ugh this joke is getting old, maybe calm down and take a deep breath. Go outside. Pet a dog. Get a snack. Just, like, stop dude. The market doesn’t care. The world doesn’t care. You are merely a blip among a billion others, stabbing at windmills until one day you will be too exhausted to continue and will fall to the ground as a crumpled shell, forgotten by all and left to wither into dust.
Look, we get it: Twitter is bad. But we’re still here, and, at least for the immediate future, we’re probably not going to leave, even if they continue to ignore rampant harassment and turn it into a poorly optimized mess of sponsored content and unintelligible timelines. And we have to ask ourselves: Why? Why do we feel such fierce loyalty to a site that holds its users in utter contempt? A service without a true purpose, yet one which plays a (bizarrely) invaluable role in our lives?
If you’re still here and still invested in Twitter in 2016, it’s because there’s some semblance of a community keeping you here. It’s the closest thing we have in the adult world to a schoolyard lunch table. It’s a place where you can talk directly to your friends, but in close proximity to people you *wish* were your friends. They might even yell across the table to you once or twice. Of course, some bullies will also jump in too, which sucks, just like high school sucked and Twitter suc — whoops, I’m undermining my own point here.
But for all its cliquish insularity and toxicity, we’re — or maybe I’m just projecting — drawn to the idea that there’s still somewhere that our world can be constantly expanding. The idea that we might actually be heard somewhere that echoes beyond the rattle of our skulls is so alluring, so potentially validating, that it keeps us coming back. We’re staring dead-eyed into the slot machine, dropping tweets in and pulling the lever for hours on end, hoping something will happen. Then something will happen, and we’ll win, and we put everything we win back into the machine.
Why do we even want to win at this, though? I — *ruffles jacket, puffs collar, adjusts tie* — have a couple of decently high-profile friends on here, and they all seem to look upon going viral with a sense of dread. Not even just from a harassment standpoint — though that can’t be understated, especially for women on here — but just from the sheer exhaustion that comes from thousands upon thousands of people engaging with something you wrote.
We weren’t built for this. We came into existence interacting in social groups of a few dozen, at largest, and that’s all we’d know for our entire lifespans. Then came agrarian settlements, then came towns, then came cities, then — you get the gist of it. So here we are, and even if you’re not on social media, the sheer state of informational saturation ensures that you’re devoting mental energy to thousands of people — from friends, to co-workers, to public figures you are effectively forced to have an opinion on. We are drowning in information.
With Twitter, the effect is magnified to an unfathomable degree: to even open your timeline and read it for more than a minute is to be exposed to the thoughts and machinations of hundreds of people — not just in what they say, but in what they share. How can you expect your brain to ever process all of this? Why do you get mad at yourself, or at anyone else, when it can’t?
I’m not espousing some kind of Kaczynski-esque manifesto saying we need to go back to the hunter-gatherer era — God, I don’t even want us to backpedal at all on this. I like being able to hear anyone in the world. I like being able to talk to and befriend people I’d never, ever meet otherwise. I like knowing there’s always someone out there. And I don’t think I could ever go back from this kind of access. And I don’t like to admit it, but I don’t think I could live without the chance to be validated, just for existing. It’s fucked up, but Twitter gives us a little bit of that feeling, as distorted through an endless array of fun-house mirrors.
Maybe we can learn to live with ourselves, one day, and drown out that constant noise telling us we aren’t good enough until someone tells us we are good enough, and we will actually be able to leave this co-dependent relationship we have with Twitter. I don’t see that day coming any time soon — at least not for me. So we might have to start small, and just accept that Twitter isn’t for us. It’s not for anyone except it’s deeply panicked management and shareholders. So they’re going to keep tinkering and tinkering, and one day the ship will spring a leak, and it will sink. That’s OK. We’re not here for Twitter’s success as a business, just as much as they have made it deeply apparent they aren’t here for our safety and comfort.
In the meantime, though, we’re stuck here, not by any outside force, but because we’re star-crossed. If you’re still here, you still care about the people you met here, and you still care about being heard, and about hearing people you wouldn’t hear. You still care that this radically unsafe space is still the only space where you can be a side of yourself you can’t be elsewhere.
It is the bar that keeps enabling you, but also gives you the only place you feel like you can talk openly and with conviction. It is filled with, sad, desperate, and constantly alienated people trying to cope with a world that doesn’t make sense. It’s filled with people just like you.
You can’t fix Twitter. It’s only going to get worse. You can only hope to fix yourself a little bit more each day. But, until then: