Instapundit Glenn Reynolds: Humanity ‘Better Off’ Without Twitter

While this popular commentator is not calling for Twitter’s ban, he muses that humans as a whole would be better served doing anything else.

Glenn Reynolds, known by most as Instapundit, has been a part of the political blogosphere since the beginning of Twitter, literally referred to by some as “The Blogfather.” He deactivated his own Twitter account after the short-lived ban of  conservative commentator Jesse Kelly, as well as the rising suspicion that Twitter is a “breeding ground for thoughtlessness and contempt.”

By his own admission, he was on the internet as far back as when Friendster, Orkut, and Usenet were popular, remembered now only by those who actually used them in their heyday. With this experience in mind, his op-ed evaluation of Twitter is especially jaded, combining all their worst aspects of past platforms and amplifying them. 

As he describes, what made the blogosphere so idyllic is that even if it was incubated and less efficient, 

If you didn’t like a blog, you could just ignore it.  A story that spread like wildfire through the blogosphere still did so over the better part of a day, not over minutes, and it was typically pretty easy to find the original item and get context, something the culture of blogging encouraged

On the other hand, Twitter, rather than a series of islands, is all one system which can amplify insults and incentivize mob mentality, often without even bothering to read the original sources of the news,

Worse yet, the heaviest users of Twitter are journalists and political operatives ...There’s a big psychic reward to issuing a bon mot — usually a put-down — and being cheered for it by your friends and political allies. But the end result is a lot of off-the-cuff meanness. 

The silver lining of this however is that one can read the tweets of these journalists that many Americans once believed (in theory) to be objective, and realize how extremely biased they are:

Some say the sharp partisanship we see on Twitter from allegedly objective journalists is a useful revelation: Finally, we’re seeing their true selves. While there’s some truth to that, I also think that Twitter actually makes people meaner and less thoughtful.

Reynolds believes that people are better served by doing whatever useful activities they engaged in before they found what Twitter was.

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