At least he’s entertaining…

Elon Musk has always engendered my curiosity. From Tesla and The Boring Company to his new role as chief of fucking around and finding out with Twitter, the man may be a lot of things, but dull and uninteresting isn’t generally considered one of them.

As much as he captures my interest, I wouldn’t exactly call myself a fan. I tend to think he’s a guy whose demons are at least as big as his better angels. Still, he’s undeniably entertaining to watch if you come at it from a slightly nihilistic perspective.

Elon’s most recent hot take, that somehow Freedom of Speech equals buying ads on Twitter, is one of those times where he just makes my head hurt. He’s obviously smart enough to know that what we commonly call “freedom of speech” precludes the government from sanctioning you, the individual, (or you the company) from things you say. It doesn’t in any way protect you from other people or businesses deciding you’re absolutely crammed full of shit and opting to not work with you.

While Elon is perfectly free to say anything he wants and use Twitter in whatever way he chooses, what he isn’t, and can’t be, is free of the natural consequences of his words and actions. In the free marketplace of radical individualism that he seems to espouse, people (and companies) voting with their feet and their wallets, should be the thing he most welcomes. The fact that the big advertisers have left in droves, is sending a message, but Elon seems determined to misinterpret the signal.

Shouting into the void…

I’m throttling down on social media. Over the last few days, I’ve slashed and burned through Twitter to drop a lot of follows and focus in the content I want to see. Instagram was already kind of a dead letter for me after their last update. If I have to go through multiple convolutions to see people I chose to follow, versus those you want me to see, your app has very limited utility for me.

Finally, I turned my attention to Facebook and deactivated an old page I had set up when I was doing a lot more writing than reading. If anyone was following my lack of updates over there, sorry about that. I should have killed off that page a long time ago, but it’s done now. My personal Facebook page could probably use a good “friends” trimming too, but I’ll leave that effort for my next fit of streamlining and trying to make my social media footprint more useful. At least in its present form, Facebook has the advantage of being filled with people I know – or those I’ve known in years gone by. I’m less inclined to do any wholesale cleaving there… for the moment.

I’ve been looking at Mastodon for the last week or two. I like the concept, but don’t particularly want to make the jump to add yet another platform unless Elon’s fuckery on Twitter just gets to be too much to bear… or he collapses the entire company, which given his performance over the last couple of days doesn’t feel entirely out of the realm of the possible.

Look, I remain a big fan of social media. It’s given me insights and let me talk to people there’s no chance I’d have ever encountered organically. I’m never going to be one of these people who abandons the internet, tosses their cell phone in the sea, and proclaims themselves “free.” I find there is plenty of useful bits left even with vocal minority of users trying to suck up all available oxygen in the room. Still, I seem to be at a crossroads in terms of how I consume my media – and I’ll be much more purposeful going forward with where and on whom I allocate time and attention.

Not to worry, though, I’m sure I’ll still populate Facebook with my stream of consciousness rantings. There’s nothing I enjoy more, after all, than a good shout into the void.