Social Networks

Rant: It's not Twitter's fault grey nuance is a bit dull

Pop along to any party of strangers and embark upon some random chat and you’ll probably prove the most entertaining company if you have a few strong views under your belt. Nothing too dogmatic, of course – this can make you instantly dull – and possibly a bit weird. And it is probably best not to be too boringly informed. But passionate, and just clued-up enough, is the key.

Life is a bit more complex than this in reality. But people aren’t – in a quick smash ’n’ grab situation at least – up for the grinding tedium of a spot of nuance. It is a bit weak wishy washy, all kinds of shades of grey and not in any mediocre sex novel sense.

Instead it smacks of limp wrist held aloft: “Well, of course, I understand the other point of view…” [now let me wax lyrical for 45 minutes on both sides of the argument].

Snooooooze - you’re more or less styling your hair with a toilet brush, bunging on some leather elbow patches and entering the oh-so-laboriously-knowledgably world of the professor. 

In short, nuance is a dirty word. And this is no better evidenced than on social media. Weak opinions don’t wash. Shouting wins. Even dogmatism is okay on these platforms. Because otherwise you’re just a bland voice amongst all the other chest beaters. Besides, just try to cram something nuanced into 140 characters…

On LinkedIn this takes the form of one-upmanship career love and ram-home-your-experience soundbites. While on Twitter, frankly, anything goes.

This provides a field day for publications like the Daily Mail which can blame anything and everything on these ‘new-fangled’ styles of communications – no matter how ludicrous:

“Twitter group converts 6,000 honest Britons to evil mankind destroying cult with the hashtag LOUD!”

“200 Surrey residents transform into pigs overnight as the rise of a vile social media terrorist runs rampant through the Home Counties sees manners obliterated and the Queen’s English debased into a handful of GRUNTS!”

“Farmers will have NOTHING to sell this harvest and Britain will go HUNGRY as foreign Twitter users transform into swarm of crop-munching bunny rabbits and run riot through the English countryside (while recruiting new eaters by typing “CROQUER” into their smartphones)!”

It is all rubbish of course.

These platforms aren’t evil or the harbinger of the apocalypse. They simply bring millions of strangers together. And in this context nuance goes out the window. So, it is a shouting free-for-all.  


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