|Red Rock State Park, Arizona. So much better than being on social media.|
On Facebook and Instagram, I enjoy getting likes. I don't experience narcissism, but there is something affirming about it, as if it confirms that what I'm posting is meaningful in some way. It fights imposter syndrome.
On Twitter, I worry when I start getting too many likes, and I mostly get them for replies containing cynicism or cutting humor. I'm not staging a "performance" like many users, but sometimes reply off the cuff, and the next thing you know it goes viral. I don't have that many followers, and I'm not trying to build a following.
After you observe the community and the company a while, it becomes clear that this is their business model. They manipulate their user base to promote controversy by hiding or promoting particular topics and particular accounts. They capriciously ban some average accounts on the basis of political or business opinions, yet allow other accounts that have extensive histories of promoting violence, social division, or other types of extremism. These are often popular and I assume Twitter makes more advertising revenue from them. Twitter has shown they can't be trusted.
I opened a Parler account a few months ago and hope for it to develop into a better community. Right at the moment, it is more free, but still somewhat toxic. One of these days I'm going to give up social media entirely and go back to spending more time reading books.