In recent years, I’ve tried to keep Twitter at arm’s length, limiting my time with the site and keeping the app off my phone. Until the pandemic started I was actually doing a decent job of that, but once coronavirus remorselessly eradicated the pretense of having better things to do, I dropped my defenses and plunged back into the hellsite. The danger of doing this, which is immediately apparent if you check Twitter for any amount of time these days, three months into a pandemic, is that Twitter becomes an almost literal extension of your brain, another little processing center like the amygdala or hippocampus. The only way to use Twitter, in my humble opinion, is to dump a certain kind of ephemeral unfiltered thought there as soon as you notice it fluttering in your head and then move on, having lightened your load every so slightly. Humans have always possessed crude tools for capturing such thoughts, such as notebooks, and even ways of disseminating those thoughts to others, but like so much digital apparatus, Twitter is a more refined and hyperefficient mechanism for doing so, and an entire universe has thus developed around it.
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