The Dangerous Unity of Twitter

When people band together in response to challenges, something greater than the sum of the parts emerges. I’ve been a part of a variety of post-disaster efforts, and the dividing lines between people are obliterated in an incredible way, yet individuality remains as strong as ever.

A beautiful picture of unity and multiplicity in their proper places.

Unity is not inherently good. Nor is multiplicity. When closest to God, they take on His divine nature. When furthest from Him, they bring us to a lower, almost animal state.

The unity of Twitter is an interesting example. Despite its wildly divergent niches who hate each other, Twitter (or “X”, as it’s now somewhat creepily called) has a kind of pervading, overarching unity.

What unites the denizens of X is primarily dislike, distaste, dissatisfaction. It is reaction, response, rebuttal. It is negativity.

This is a seductive lure.

Criticism is a valid and sometimes needed exercise. But rarely do its benefits to society outweigh its dangers to those who wield it. An entire online culture built around ever more layered and sophisticated ways of mocking and critiquing is not without uses, but something to be approached knowingly and cautiously, like a cornered viper whose venom can occasionally cure rare diseases.

The unity of Twitter is a unity that chains its members together, and can drag them all under the water at once if they are not careful.