God And The Abusive Power Of Social Media

The Tweet Of God is a very popular, multi-million follower’d parody Twitter where writer David Javerbaum pretends to say what our heavenly father is thinking about current events. It is an example of viral success, it illustrates the power of post-religious millennials, and it gets at what religion actually thinks about current events.

Yet, for fans, some sad news: the Twitter account is now over. Javerbaum recently spoke with Los Angeles public radio station KPCC about what he’s been working on and he spilled the beans, that his Tweet about Antonin Scalia would be the profile’s last will and testament. When asked why he was walking away from something that has gotten him so much success, the answer was something so interesting and so relatable for anyone who has worked (Or even used.) social media.

It’s been taking up too much of my time and energy and mental agility. And I have other things that I want to do in my life and I just have to, at a certain point, just cut that cord. And the point was this weekend.

The triggering event was I got hacked. The Twitter account got hacked. God got hacked, which wasn’t surprising. There were a number of obscene messages put up there briefly and then removed. There was a pornographic picture of Garfield. I just have to move on.

And also working on twitter for a long time, it just miniaturizes the way you think, because that’s the medium. You’re a miniaturist. And if I’m going to work on other things that require anything longer — i.e. anything else in the world — I need to stop doing that.

“It just miniaturizes the way you think” is a very important way of looking at the affect of social media. It’s a pretty deep capturing of social media’s affects.

It’s especially interesting for those whose career path is or is heavily involved with Twitter, Facebook, etc. For roughly three years, I ran various television shows and brand’s social accounts and, while fun and silly and sweet, it ate my brain because all I did was made things that were ultimately disposable: your job is to make things that people look at for a few seconds, giggle at, and move on from, likely to never visit it again. Even the most profound Tweet or post on a website is just a small message in a bottle tossed into an endless, constantly swirling oceanic planet where what you toss has a 99% chance of being swallowed into a void. Even the things that do resonate are fleeting. It can build an abusive cycle of desire, of “making,” of trying to be heard, of trying to keep up with the Internet Kardashians. The funniest part? Even the celebrities deal with this, even the people like @TheTweetOfGod, see social media as this void: they see that all the work they do to “be themselves” is ultimately for nothing.

So what does that mean for you? Think about your relationship with social media and how it can make real life smaller, compacted, and into something that will just be tossed away into the nothing. Use these things in a smarter way—and thank God for the little reminder.

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