So it feels like ages since I’ve written a business related article. Years, in fact. Business has had a strange journey on this blog. Originally, that’s all I talked about. I would read a business book and then talk about those ideas. Eventually, that transformed into Mental Health and the rest of the blog has shifted away from a heavy focus on articles. Early in the Pandemic, I tried writing business articles on LinkedIn. Those saw some success but I felt a disconnect. Effort vs. Reward just wasn’t there. Here, I write for the fun of it. And I’ve been itching to talk about the Elon Musk acquisition of Twitter.
As you may be aware, I’ve done away with my social media presence since the Pandemic began. Think of this article as more of a continuation of what I’ve already talked about on my crusade against social media. If there was any doubt about my decision to leave the digital realm behind, it has been erased by watching the social media giants implode. Meta is a whole other story and quite frankly a mess. There’s a certain satisfaction in watching their fall but I also worry about those impacted by the collapse of the social media giants.
Twitter has been on a wild ride within the last couple weeks. The biggest news is Elon Musk laying off half the workforce and charging $8 for a verification system that seems inconceivable with how Twitter was designed. That said, I can understand some of the decisions made. When I’ve envisioned Utopian social media, there has to be a way for the site to be supported. Typically, the two go-to options are crowdfunding or advertisements. You can either have it free and your data sold or you can give money to the creator to help support the site. If I’m not mistaken, Myspace was completely free, which led to it’s eventually demise. Myspace was the ideal and while I was too young to share in its joy, I still remember how amazing it was. A time when the internet was actually Utopian. Then came Facebook and Twitter. And now here we are, in uncharted territory.
What is Elon Musk doing?
It seems like madness and it seems like chaos but I’m intrigued at what’s happening at Twitter. My theory is Elon Musk is gutting Twitter as we know it and trying at least in part, to create a more concise social media experience (in a perfect world, where everyone was a rational being). I would not be surprised if we saw it integrated with his other companies and went the route of a professional social media service, similar to LinkedIn but more specialized. However, if he is forced into a particular vision remains to be seen. Advertisers are leaving Twitter in droves and soon we will see a mass exodus of users on the platform. Based on what I’ve read and watched, it seems Elon Musk does indeed want the current userbase to stay. While I gave up the Twitter life a couple years ago, I have hopped on from time to time to check in. With the acquisition however, my desire to do so has all but disappeared. The new verification system sounds exhausting and begs the question of who can you trust on Twitter? What would a post-Twitter world even look like? Once Pandora’s box is open, can you close it? While we don’t know for certain if Twitter will die, I think we can all agree that Twitter as we know it is done. It is essentially in the hands of a madman.
It’s a lot of information to process. One day, Twitter was fine (in the loose definition of the word). Then overnight, the Media giant was brought to its knees by one man. Half the staff, gone. Many others resigning, quitting. It is alarming to think that if one has enough money, they can do this. People’s livelihoods have been destroyed and for what? Seemingly nothing. A CEO does not simply do these things. At least, not a proper CEO. I always thought of Elon Musk as a sort of madman businessman but at least with his other companies he could hide behind “Vision”. A mission to colonize Mars, a mission to reinvent the automotive industry through electric batteries. While a tough sell, getting people to hit the grindstone when you have a mission to save the world makes the pill easier to swallow. With Twitter you’d have to be out of your mind to stay.
Covering Social Media
As part of my long term goal for the blog, I want to start covering social media trends on a more regular basis. I’ve written about their mental health implications and since then I’ve been noticing more coverage on the detriment behemoths like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter have had on society. I know deep down in my heart, there are better ways to run Social Media. I’ll be keeping up with all new developments and look at the global impact. If you have any thoughts, sound off in the comments below!