maintaining lines of connection – Snakes and Ladders:

But I never have stopped missing the friendships I used to experience through Twitter. For a while I tried chatting with people on, but that didn’t work — which may be because I just don’t have the knack of social-media chatting any more, but also may be because people have learned certain discursive habits from Twitter and Facebook that they then bring to every other platform, and I don’t like those discursive habits. In any case, for now I’m just posting to and not trying to converse. Maybe that will change. Or maybe I’ll move everything back to the blog. Time will tell.

My guess is that social media are dead to conversation and conversation on them cannot be revived. But if that’s true, how to “maintain lines of connection between friends, comrades and fellow-travellers” while “routing around the toxic internet”? That is indeed the question, and I don’t have a clue how it might be answered. I suspect that there is no answer: that it’s the toxic internet or hermetic life or, for those who are blessed, what Auden called “local understanding.” And if so, though I don’t want to be a hermit, I’d definitely prefer that to trying, yet again, to talk to strangers on social media.

I’d be interested to hear the details of what Jacobs means by the “certain discursive habits from Twitter and Facebook that they then bring to every other platform,” but I think he is pretty spot-on here.

I still engage in some amount of discussion on Facebook—almost entirely with my IRL friends and family. I rarely engage with any posts from organizations, or in discussion threads that have tons of comments and replies. What’s the point?

I mostly feel that while Twitter and Facebook have their uses, conversation is not one of them. I think this goes back to these platforms’ inherent need to promote the most knee-jerk, blood-boiling sort of content that generates anger and controversy.