Philosophy for me is not optional. That may sound arrogant. “I have to pay the rent” you might say. “There are and will always be more pressing things”. Well, I could throw the great ancient philosopher Seneca at you. Philosophy is the only thing he said in a roundabout way. However the best reply to the “pay your way argument” is obviously the words of Jesus. Of course “The Kingdom of God” and what philosophers dedicate their time to thinking about are often one and the same. However Twitter is the target of my thoughts here, humorously at least as remote from “The Kingdom of God” as possible. So why is “philosophy not optional?” Even if I had to “pay the rent” I know from own life experience it is quite possible to not do so, the repercussion is homelessness. On this basis alone politically speaking I will forever hold a very soft spot for the great British writer and philosopher George Orwell. His novel “Down and Out in Paris and London” explores his time as homelessness. I vowed to write my own “Estoy en Mis Cuevas” to describe my experience in Granada, Spain with the same. Time will tell.
I am not particularly prone to count the number of “negative results” as Leonard Elmhirst, a philanthropist and agronomist, would call this frequent fails on his Dartington estate. However Twitter has proven a particularly difficult beast to kill. Engaging with it has all the pleasure of a particular severe attack of IBS. I have come at the beast from a number of difficult angles. Each one seems to bite back after the initial period of enthusiasm with something akin to what Hunter S. Thompson must mean by “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas”. I say that without having read the novel but his famous title says enough. To be funny I guess it would be enough in Twitter babble to say “just read it”.
However to hold Leonard up to the light, these engagements are all just negative results giving me something very valuable; namely insight. Obviously twitter is not an option, otherwise I would happily forget this aspect of social media technology. For me it is obviously not optional because I keep coming back to it. It is more optional than philosophy, not least because before the invention of the type-writer there was still a mechanism to exchange ideas. Really? So let me fight fire with fire. Let me bring philosophy into my attempt to kill this beast. Why is trying to do anything even moderately successful on twitter that a large number of very young adults, recently passing the rubicon of 18 years old, manage such a challenge I would prefer a sustained attack of illness if it were optional?
For the purpose, and to set this challenge in stone, let us just propose my objective in using Twitter were to promote this website where I post this thing. I have no idea if it is an article, an essay or whatever such is the nature of the online world. I am OK with that. It is just when attempting to define terms precisely to reach the philosophical results I wish there can, in my opinion, be little quarter spared to vagueness of thought. This thing or essay called “Twitter in Not an Option” is the beginning of a new methodical approach to exploring the mental obstacles or philosophical barriers to using Twitter successfully.
This essay concludes here, although it may just be part 1 of more. However I can close now by saying this is not an article on how to successfully twitter. I cannot predict the future and at the moment my only success has been a variety of technical experiments which have given me “negative results”. Just to clarify running 20 or so twitter accounts over several years in a variety of guises can produce lots of useful “negative” results but not what I would call happiness. That is the only thing I am hoping from out of the medium, “happy” in terms of I can use it as I do other technologies to achieve a positive result I am content with.
Philosophy is rightly disliked by many and with good reason in that it rescues fools. Hence the true foolish, those it will never need to rescue, realise truth and hate it even more. With those elevated plains in mind I dedicate myself to collecting other people’s thoughts (famous or otherwise) on why twitter is pointless etc. After that I shall have a cure as such, or at least some new philosophical insight into why I am failing to use Twitter in the way I want. So here is to my first possible success, promoting my website of words where this thing resides. Salud!