We love to Tweet. We love to share. It appears to be a strategy for change but it isn’t. And we have to accept that.
These are strange times. We are able to reach millions with a single Medium post but each day a new post supplants the last. Today’s impassioned jeremiad – like this one – is tomorrow’s digital fish wrapper. A CEO can Tweet something noble today and it is gone a moment later. We can spread the word through Facebook but that site’s pernicious systems keeps it from spreading outside of your immediate zone of friends. In the end all we do on social media is akin to a fart in a crowded room – sure to annoy someone nearby but dissipated by the time it reaches the edges.
So I’m saying delete your account and do something.
If you are a programmer and you haven’t contacted your favorite investigative journalists, the folks at ProPublica, or anyone at your local paper, delete your account and do it. Journalists need your technical expertise to secure their devices, set up secure drops, and understand the data coming out of the countless leaks that are sure to come. You are vitally important.
If you’re running a startup delete your account and look up from your laptop. This can be your first effort at corporate philanthropy. Donate to the ACLU. Volunteer to help immigrants assimilate. Send some cash to Trump. I don’t care. Get political. We had a solid decade of inaction. It’s time to delete your account and do something.
If you’re a VC cut ties from members of your class that actively destroy free speech and rant about the coming dystopia. It makes no sense to invest when the world is coming to an end so perhaps you should protect your investments and prevent it?
If you think about tweeting something witty, don’t. Say that witty thing at a protest march or in a city council meeting or at a school board election. Run for local office. This is the moment for insurgent democracy and if you’re at Apple or Google and truly believe in your Burning-Man-equality-for-all fever dream of Silicon Valley then make it happen locally. If you live in a small city lead the hundreds of amazing entrepreneurs in an effort to enact change. If you’re international reach out. It will be individual citizens who change things since most of our governments are now at odds. This second decade of the 21st century has gone aground. We need to tow it to open waters and keep sailing. Delete your account and do something.
Delete your account and build something if you want to fight back. Delete your account and do something if you want to fight back. Delete your account and run for office if you want to fight back. Facebook posts are meaningless. Twitter is a way for us to feel smug at misspelled rants from the White House. Ignore their false produce and read real news from a real source you trust. Pay for media. Understand that journalists are as baffled as you but, thanks to experience, they have the means to tease out truth. But they can’t do it alone.
No matter what side you’re on, no matter how much glee you get in funny memes and clever retorts, delete your account. The world doesn’t exist on your backlit high-resolution screen. It exists a few degrees up and out, out where people are marching, deals are being made, and the world is changing without you.
Delete your account. The world needs you.
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