We really need to start ignoring terrible people on Twitter

SEPTEMBER 22 — Ah yes, another week of my rationing time on Twitter and it has been great for productivity and my mental health.

I won't lie; there have been many times when I itched to tweet about something — my lunch, politics, the really batty weather.

Thinking about it though, I could have written an essay or a series of essays in the time it takes me to write or react to tweets.

There have been a lot of terrible takes on Malaysian twitter lately. Of course it's great to see people advocating for good causes or doing helpful information threads.

Yet the last couple of weeks have seen far too many people amplifying the messages of people who do not deserve any attention at all.

When some local buffoon or various other local buffoons go on a terrible take spree, perhaps we should pretend not to see said buffoon instead of telling everyone on Twitter what they said.

Sadly that does not apply to reporting on Malaysian politics but we should just accept our headlines deserve to appear on The Onion.

I have, too, been guilty of sharing or retweeting terrible people just for the sake of letting people know how awful they are.

That is not what I want to do anymore.

The Twitter app is seen on a phone screen August 3, 2017. — Reuters pic
The Twitter app is seen on a phone screen August 3, 2017. — Reuters pic

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As another Twitter friend has said, we cannot keep amplifying horrible tweets.

I am not going to be some Polyanna and pretend everything is fine and dandy.

Yet when I spend a few minutes a day on Twitter just feeling sick seeing what pops up when I scroll, I think that maybe, I don't want to be someone adding to that sickness.

Yes, sometimes, it is important to call people out and have them be held accountable.

For instance, famous entrepreneurs who copy wholesale the ideas of smaller businesses definitely need a lot of scolding. 

I think, though, we can spread awareness without sharing the toxicity and maybe instead of making horrible people famous, we can make sure they never are.

Until I figure out just where my own social media direction is heading, I am prolonging my hiatus for maybe a little while more.

It's OK to love social media but at the same time, we need to remember that we ourselves play a part in shaping its content and perhaps it's time we all be more conscious and deliberate about its use.

Too mercenary? Self-censorship? I'd prefer to call it reflection and reassessment or "things political parties should consider doing because damn it, the next election is coming soon."

*This is the personal opinion of the columnist.

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