A visit to the toxic cesspool that was/is Twitter/X

March 25, 2024


When Musk began his overbearing behavior after his new purchase of the site formerly known as Twitter, I deleted my account. I wasn’t ever much of a Twitter user, to be honest. I didn’t see its value.

But I realized that I wanted occasional access to its content. So later that year I opened an account again. Just like last time, I rarely visited.

And then, the Princess of Wales disappeared from view. Twitter became my access to various theories (conspiracy and otherwise) as various social media investigators did their thing, for better or worse. And I began using it as repository for info and theories I wanted to hang on to for possible future use.

I spent quite a bit of time on the site, which I’d never done before. And emerged with a deeply dystopian view of our current world. Gloomy. Orwellian. Terrifying. I felt like I needed a gas mask just to breathe.

Now I know exactly how ignorant people can be. And how many there are! It was a super-horrifying experience, ringing my chimes, and not in a good way. In my disbelief, I found my fingertips typing responses to people to whom I wouldn’t ordinarily give the time of day.

Twitter/X is a toxic cesspool of Magats, anti-vaxxers, hugely insulting people and folks with levels of ignorance I hadn’t known existed. And that ignorance spreads through the site like wildfire. Each ignorant person reinforces the other in a terrible round-robin of misinformation.

Once the Princess of Wales solved the mystery of her absence, I was glad to leave the site for the real world, where at least I could breathe without a mask. Some of the time, anyway.

I’ve said before that I think that on balance, social media have not been a force for good in our society. This experience confirms that.

I am saddened beyond belief at the ghastly world we’ve become.

How about you? Your thoughts on social media, or Twitter/X? Is it a toxic cesspool or do you see something else?

14 comments on “A visit to the toxic cesspool that was/is Twitter/X
  1. Beth Havey says:

    Hi Carol, thanks for your honesty. I have never left Twitter and thus it still works for me. Why, because I see people who are fighting back, saying the right things, calling out the lies. Our culture is harmed in many ways by social media and lies. The thing going on at MSNBC has me angry. But I need Rachel to calm me down and clarify things. So One day at a time. Hope are you doing well, Beth

  2. I never shut down my account but I think I’ve only visited once since Elon bought it, and I had been fairly quiet except to share posts for a year leading to that. My experience in Twitter when it still was was very “crafted” because I joined three or four writer’s groups on there. We were all about works in progress, inspirations, and so on. I had glimpses of our dystopia (it eeks through all the walls), but I mostly communicated with fellow writers.

  3. Laurie Stone says:

    I’ve always found Twitter to be one of the angriest sites out there. If Facebook is about family and friends, and Instagram is all flowers and butterflies (at least for me), then Twitter is the site where everyone’s always fighting and enraged. Besides promoting, I stay away.

  4. Elaine Kehoe says:

    I have never been on Twitter or any other social media but Facebook, and even that gets exasperating at times. I prefer to keep my mind at peace whenever possible. And I do think social media has bent too much to the “bad” side.

  5. Susan Cooper says:

    I left Twitter/x]X after Musk took over. Like you, I rarely engaged and found little value on the site especially when Musk did his thing. I do agree with you about the state of the world, it’s a mess. I too, find is disgusting, disturbing, and frighting.

  6. Alana says:

    I never left Twitter (for me it will always be Twitter). There are pockets of sanity in the cesspool – if you use it enough for sane accounts (Dan Rather, Michael Beschloss, Jack Hopkins are three of my faves) and resist the temptation to click on trending hashtags, the algorithm will actually help you with other sane suggestions. I like it for breaking news (I learned about Ronna and NBC and the terrible Crocus Club massacre) from Twitter hours before mainstream media grabbed onto those stories. But maybe part of my tolerance comes from my years-long reading of dystopian literature, one of my preferred genres. I never had much faith in humanity to begin with, so maybe my expectations were too low.

  7. Susan says:

    I limit my access to negativity and falsehoods. I’m an Independent. Don’t attack me as a center of the road gal, but I’m observing both sides are equally crazy and making up stories. The riled up responses ratchet things up a bit.

    I’ve walked neighborhoods, had the yard signs for politicians and donated to both sides to the politician that resonates best with me.

    I sure would like others to join me and try to understand both sides of an issue.

    • Yes, there’s a lot of negativity and fake news, misleading and outright falsehoods. I just don’t see it as equivalent on both sides. But whether it is or it isn’t. “X” is a toxic place these days.

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