Skip to content
This day’s portion

The why and to whom of social media

I really enjoyed this light but actually quite thought-provoking post from Johan Halse. It starts with a description of a visit to The Emirates Stadium, which I would imagine is one of the most soul-destroying experiences on this earth, especially if you remember Highbury. Portman Road means Ipswich are still at the Highbury stage of their existence.

Anyway, Johan considers why he used to post to Twitter:

I think of things, and then I feel the need to say them out loud.

For some reason, Twitter keeps republishing my tweets from 2009 (YMMV – they appear, then disappear, like ghosts), even though I deleted everything I published months ago. I seem to have been tweeting for just this reason back then, and it makes for odd reading. I was obviously thinking things and felt the need to say them, but why say these particular things? And why think them at all in the first place if not with an audience in mind? It’s for me and it’s not for me: an act for me and, well, whom?

I was writing for me, all along.

Yes and no. I was creating this persona for me because Twitter’s terseness made for a satisfying – and relatively easy – act of creative writing. But then it’s impossible to conceive of writing that has no effect on a reader at all. If I was trying to do that, I could have just published a private blog. Which would have remained private for how long?

Maybe you’re posting to social media for wholly selfless reasons: to share knowledge, to entertain or just to engage in some form of conversation. I don’t think the 2009 version of me was, and I wonder if years of performing takes its toll.