June 2019, will mark my decade-long engagement on Twitter, and I can’t honestly describe that time period as a crowning achievement. At the time I signed on to the platform that seemed nothing more than a flirty distraction — that gives you room to very briefly announce what you had for lunch, without getting specific — I was already engaged to Facebook.
That tumultous affair was abruptly cut short after the lies and deceit were too hard to take. Luckily there was no grieving spell, and I seamlessly re-directed my time to Instagramming and tweeting.
I snapped out of Snapchat when I discovered that my maturity was a major hindrance.
Truth be told, we never really knew what to expect from Twitter when our chosen handles became official. And my rookie approach is embarrassingly evident in the label I chose for myself — @nilegirl. I did try for @ezinneukoha — but that seemed to be taken or maybe I didn’t add the surname out of blatant cluelessness.
Either way, it’s quite apparent that I just wasn’t savvy enough to consider how an ever-evolving portal could possibly make me regret the handle I’m now stuck with — till death do us part.
I don’t recall much from the earlier days, except the feeling that we were all — more or less — on the same page when it came to usage. There were still the elements of expectations, and the delightful exercise of connecting with others or just with yourself — on a landscape that charged nothing for the privilege of being noticeably vocal.
The real change in pace and engagement was obvious in 2011 into 2012, as the incubator unleashed the fresh batch of “influencers” who were more like social media socialites with the flair for commanding flocks of attention based on wealth of achievements.
They didn’t have to buy followers because they just had it like that. Or maybe they did purchase those impressive numbers, who knows. I could never bring myself to that place where I could justify paying for the simplicity of being organically drawn to someone based on commonality.
Again, I was never the ideal candidate for the experiment of being helplessly seduced by the ability to create the winning facade, that would guarantee the right amount of views in a sea of contenders.
But I was fascinated by the trailblazers from back in the day, who were feted in ways that dropped hints of what was yet to come. I clung to one in particular because of her stellar background in media, that basically presented exactly what I had hoped my trajectory would look like, as an ambitious New Yorker in hustle mode.
She was able to amass legions of fans who responded with lightening immediacy when she began her Twitterfest, that usually involved dropping pearls of wisdom of how her fabulosity didn’t have to just be reserved for her and all the others in her enviable category.
Back then it was all about the folks who had worked hard and long to establish noteworthy careers, that garnered them the authority to brag with the confidence of how those accomplishments automatically warranted loyal admirers.
Twitter’s blue check policy was only employed for the benefit of celebrities, who were immersed in the seediness of fake accounts, that forced them to undergo the verification process for protection and sanity.
My targeted “socialite” held court almost every Sunday, and Black women like me, who needed to be rejuvenated, always looked forward to her generous tweets, that were just as informational as they were entertaining. That was how we knew about the event that she was circulating, where we could pay a reasonable fee for the boost of networking with like-minded folk.
This is when it became demonstratively clear that Twitter wasn’t going to remain the popular venue where simplified messages could be exchanged with no consequences. The fact that I was able to accept an invitation to a swell luncheon at an exclusive venue in the heart of midtown, and break bread with the Queen herself — and her followers — seemed like the perfect scenario.
We followed the possibilities that can be reaped from valued engagement — and that automatically made the platform that I instinctively underestimated — that much more tangible.
Twitter officially became my hotspot after the first win that introduced me to the contacts that became friends, who also introduced me to friends who were able to grant my entry into the outlets, that had shunned me for far too long.
It’s been six years since the power and might of tweets and retweets proved its worth in more ways than one, and needless to say, the once manageable landscape has been reshaped into a shapeless wasteland; where rules and regulations wither from the strain of gross negligence.
The former influential “influencers” who were swarmed by adoring fans that ravenously ate up the expelled gems, have become banished relics, who are barely recognizable. Their value has diminished under the banner of a new currency, that bequeathes the prized “blue check” on loud-mouthed opportunists — packing more than enough fuel to scorch the competition — who are silently more deserving.
Looking back, it’s hard to imagine how we downplayed the high price tag that would be applied to the naivety or recklessness — levied on our demands for the level of fame and adulation that we wouldn’t ordinarily internalize with pompous awareness — if we weren’t so predictably insecure and easy to manipulate.
There was never the plan for divine intervention to discipline our thirst for the depths of disorder that would grandly elevate, and also force us to tear each other apart without humanistic bolts of reality.
It was supposed to be “us versus us” in a thankless game of rollercoaster rides that begin and nearly stop before the lever malfunctions on cue, and provides another soaring zoom past what we used to be and towards what will become; after we’ve been cursed with more space to fuck ourselves.
The shit is so biblical that you have to empathize with Eve, when you consider the unfairness of being groomed to fail by the Almighty God, who mightily sees all things and knows exactly what will happen before it occurs.
The impossibly rich techies are god-like in their pursuits, since they’re able to be everywhere at once, and are wholly responsible for turning us into robotic programmers, who can only digest the summary of activities, that make us intolerant of the codes that deviate from the norm of what we’ve lazily instituted.
This is why the engagement skills of Kanye West are way better than anything you and I can conceive.
It goes without saying that Ye isn’t ending 2018 on a high note, according to the maddened crowd, who bailed from unyielding fandom when their embattled hero inexplicably began to show signs of “wear and tear,” with the damaging vulnerability that expands to include cringe-worthy acts that won’t be forgiven.
The latest scandal showcased the flow of thoughts that ranged from heavy accusations against Drake to the heavier topic of mental health, and why that can’t be used as the tool of shaming by those who still loathe him for performing the hits that comprise of the ultimate betrayal.
Ye then went on to tweet a series of tweets that inspired this irresponsible partial heading from Slate magazine:
It’s the “Off His Meds” part that really bites, and yes, it doesn’t help when he innocently divulges the scary and scarier, that will be effortlessly used to demean his already fragile disposition beyond repair.
The rest of the live journal intertwined with Ariana Grande’s plea that the “grown men” fighting for attention wouldn’t overshadow her newly-minted track, which Ye didn’t appreciate, and apparently her ex-beau also couldn’t cope with that method of “promotion.”
At the end of it all, it was a hell of a Saturday night, that provided all the ingredients for a full on bitchfest, the next day, as vexed users who had witnessed the real time chattiness, were able to juggle Cardi B’s relationship drama with the dramatized breakdown of a certifiably crazy human.
Industry icons like Snoop Dogg provided comical relief in the form of cold dismissals, that highlighted the viral themes of how the troubled genius needs his phone confiscated, so that he can:
“Stop telling the whole world what you’re going through.”
“We don’t give a fuck.”
Snoop is definitely echoing the sentiment of the “perfect crowd,” who don’t have the energy or incentive to “give a fuck” about the ranting of a madman, who is annoyingly off his meds, and is exacting the resulting manic episodes on gawkers, who take the time to survey and assess the crime scene while ignoring the wails of the bleeding victim.
But the “whole world” really isn’t an appealing or even appetizing place to inhabit these days, and just as we are able to readily accommodate the graphicness of #bestlives on display in dripping opulence or the bold letters of epic boastfulness that break hearts — we should be more than capable of handling the transparency of erratic emotions that are vividly outlined — for better or worse.
Nobody, not even a revered superstar rapper, has the right to dictate the rules of engagement according to the suitability of emotionless users, who embody the falsehood of how their threads of disapprovals and “cancellations” actually translate in the real and practical universe, where venomous posts would be more impactful in a face-to-face encounter.
Sure, social media activism is a thriving status that has produced substantial improvements in key areas of existence, but platforms are still riddled with the potency of a climate that is bloated with the over-blown assumptions of ordained “influencers,” who lead the charge when it comes to the things and the people who are swiftly disposable.
Ye’s technique of engagement is refreshingly raw and stimulating; in fact the roster of tweets from that infamous night of reveals, filled me with envy as I observed the almost extinct adherence to the “fuck it” motto, when it comes to abandoning the crippling need to compose award-winning fare — that nobody would dare dispute.
That wildness of character can’t be formulated by the spirit of someone — who is impressionable enough to be deceived into the mundane task of suppressing the character flaws that used to make being human so much more interesting — and even inspiring.
I’d rather be as crazy as Ye, than virally verified by the bunch that won’t claim the broken and dismally fleshy prototypes, who weirdly tell the world what they’re going through.
This era of flimsy emotions arms eager users with the task of building viral threads about all the reasons why Michelle Williams shouldn’t exchange vows with her shady fiancé, but when she yields and adds the untrendy confirmation of seeking further treatment for her mental health — her ardent supporters are too busy finessing literary gems for worthier successors.
Nobody actually has the bandwidth to give a fuck long enough to engage vital updates.
And Ye knows this.
This final word is the latest controversial gem from the “forever cancelled” “fuckin moron.”