Twitter is functionally dead to me at times like this – and “times like this” seem to be happening more and more frequently.
Another day of dstraction and misdirection takes over the space that I’d mistakenly hoped was democratic. On Friday two members of a privileged elite got married and broke twitter for me. This morning a member of one privileged elite claimed responsibility for the death of a member of another privileged elite. And the crowd goes wild.
I want to be clear – I am as much a sucker for boy meets girl and good guy kills bad guy as anyone else. I’m glad to see two young people celebrating their love. I can’t celebrate anyone’s death, but I also know and love people whose lives were directly, painfully and irreparably damaged and disrupted by 9/11. I understand the need for romance and the need for revenge.
The wedding is irrelevant to the day-to-day living of my life. The death of bin Laden is not. It is not closure, it’s the completion of one cycle of violence that will begin another. I don’t believe that the death of the “head” of al Quaeda will mean a reduction in the risk of individual terrorism from that group, any more than I imagine that after the death of [insert your least favourite tech pundit here] gadget fanboys will stop having a fit of the vapours over the release of shiny, shiny preciouses.
I’ve seen lots of tweets crowing over the ability of twitter and other social media to spread the news, but if it just spreads the mainstream news agenda and whips up hysteria then it’s failing for me and I don’t want any part in it. I want something else. I want connection with others through something other than what I can find on the BBC or Fox News.
And I just can’t help wondering what “bad news” is getting ready to be “buried” today.