I still pop over to Twitter occasionally. I am working with my friends at Kaleidoscope to help them with copywriting, including the occasional tweet. When I’m there, I’ll have a quick look at my timeline. My favorite accounts are CapybaraMan and Raccoons Hourly.
Yesterday, when I was there, a thread caught my eye. One of my friends had commented “That one secret little trick is patriarchy.” Interested, I decided to follow the thread back and see what prompted the comment. Turns out a guy had posted a tweet thread with his basic GTD tips, but framed it as “here is how I became super successful by my 30s, including a family of 6 kids.” He neglected to note any contribution of his wife to juggling all this responsibility. And he was roasted by Twitter for his cluelessness.
I scrolled and snorted at some of the clapbacks. But then I pulled myself up short. Isn’t this what I hate about Twitter? People can zing total strangers without consequences. The momentum builds and then you have a mob of commenters, who start mining his tweets for more evidence of his hubris.
Did we learn anything? Men can be clueless about their privilege. That’s not new information. Did the original poster learn anything? He will probably not post on Twitter again. This man is a symptom, not the problem. A very old problem. Ideally Twitter would have ignored him. But patriarchy is a triggering topic. It triggers me. I can understand the impulse to fire off a pithy 280 characters targeting one of its representatives. And to feel we have at least done something. But nothing is accomplished with by Twitter mob, except strengthening Twitter’s hold on discourse online.