Emperor Elon might have no clothes, but social media will live on

Malay Mail
Malay Mail

NOVEMBER 9 — Twitter has become more of an entertaining spectacle than ever after its purchase by the reluctant billionaire Elon Musk.

Musk has a reputation of making claims and promises that he does not deliver on, while also being more petty than a grudgefest of the neighbourhood aunties.

I still remember how he responded to the criticism of his ridiculous idea of rescuing those trapped Thai schoolboys with a nightmare submarine by calling one of the lead rescuers a paedophile.

Now Twitter users have united in impersonating him on the website, reposting unflattering photos of him, including one with Jeffrey Epstein associate Ghislaine Maxwell.

At the same time, there are many people panickedly announcing their move to other social media websites such as Mastodon, Tribe Social, cohost or pivoting to services such as Instagram and Substack.

As someone who’s been on the internet since the late 90s I have been through many services and seen the rise and fall of MySpace, Blogger, Vine, Livejournal and Tumblr.

We learned to use the new services as they popped up though Snap will forever be beyond me.

Twitter app is seen on a smartphone in this illustration taken, July 13, 2021. — Reuters pic
Twitter app is seen on a smartphone in this illustration taken, July 13, 2021. — Reuters pic

Twitter app is seen on a smartphone in this illustration taken, July 13, 2021. — Reuters pic

With each service I gained friends. As they fell out of favour, I lost touch with those friends and it was a reminder that most things in life are ephemeral in nature.

Yet it is also human nature to want to hold onto people, things and beliefs that no longer have a place in our lives.

The people who were meant to stay in your life will remain and the people with whom you had tenuous connections with, will soon float away, leaving just memories.

With some people, staying in touch feels so easy that even if you haven’t texted them in weeks, getting back up to speed with each other’s lives doesn’t feel hard.

If you find it too much effort or hardship to keep ties with certain people, maybe they just weren’t meant to stay in your life.

As sad as it might sound, sometimes you do need to move on.

If there are people on Twitter or elsewhere that you like speaking with often enough, then perhaps do that thing that used to be the norm — get their phone numbers.

Find out where else you can find them on social media or let them know personally you want to stay in touch.

I think we get too used to how easy social media makes things — like remembering birthdays or striking random conversations with people you have never met in person.

Treasure the connections you have or had, remember that memories themselves are keepsakes on their own and trust that even if a social network dies, you can find a new place in this ever-evolving online universe.

At the very least I am grateful that Elon Musk has taught so many people that the mega rich are not necessarily talented, nor deserving but mostly really lucky, exploitative or both.

Grab a bowl of popcorn and enjoy what might be the last moments of Twitter or perhaps we shall see its rebirth, who knows? What is certain is at the very least most people are no longer fooled by Emperor Elon’s pretending not to be naked in his ineptness.

* This is the personal opinion of the columnist.