But if I’m going to be honest the major attraction of this place is statistical dopamine- follower counts, views, likes, RTs. One of my average tweets gets more views than the the most viral blog post I’ve ever done, some tweets 30x.
— David Burge (@iowahawkblog) July 27, 2018
Self-loathing Twitter is a consistently popular genre. But this candid admission is why, despite all the perfunctory flagellation, I don’t really think the sporadic “back to the blog” mutterings we’ve heard in recent months will ultimately amount to more than another type of status-signaling, sort of like the Day of Unplugging. People who want to be in the conversation but not of it will continue to use Twitter self-deprecatingly, allowing them to have it both ways, pretending to be above the attention and adulation they wallow in.
Dan Cohen says “ambient humanity” is what keeps people yoked to the giant platforms; I prefer to reiterate that people are always eager to avoid effort and agency, happy to drift down to the lowest common denominator while ironically lamenting their weakness. Quality, not quantity, right? I’m far more flattered by the fact that a few people silently show up here every day to see what I’ve written than I would be by thousands of likes, retweets and attaboys from people who just see me as one more ephemeral content provider to help them kill time at work. The satisfaction of a post well-written is its own reward, regardless of how much attention it gets. I always thought this was self-evident, but it turns out I’m just odd. Thank God for that.