Art & Random Thoughts - July 8, 2023
A new work in progress and my first impressions of Threads
Starting off with a work-in-progress here. I’m slowly inching forward on a larger version of City of the Future, 18x24 inches, vs the meager 11x16 that was the previous one. Work on this version has been slow and a total pain in the butt! Mostly because its all technical and precise and involves rulers, and t-squares, and triangles for every single one of the 3.4 billion lines in this thing (I didn’t count, but trust me it’s at least that many). Also in the back of my head, I’m mulling over ideas for a City of the Future III to follow up on last week’s City of the Future II.
Weekly thoughts: First impressions of Threads.
After spending a couple days using Meta’s new Threads app, my main impression is that it’s actually quite… pleasant. In comparison, whenever I spend 10 minutes scrolling through Twitter, I usually end up being mad at something that I hadn’t been thinking about 10 minutes earlier. (And what’s worse is that I can’t stop scrolling for more).
Now, on Twitter I never really had a big following compared to Instagram (1k vs 50k followers), so for the most part posting on Twitter for me is like shouting into a void. In my first day on Threads, I had more interactions with more people than I had on Twitter all year. The best thing of all so far, is that Threads has been free of the trolls that regularly fill Twitter with whatever the internet’s equivalent of raw sewage is.
I think we all agree that social media has deteriorated over the last 10 years. It seems that all the big ones realized that they could make their profits by just feeding us viral content and ads and they didn’t even need to let us interact with each other anymore. Twitter certainly learned that all it has to do is make us mad and many of us will gladly come back for more. Threads, however, has felt something like Twitter in 2010; people are just happily exchanging banter. I saw 3 people post photos of their lunch, and one just posted that he wanted to spread happiness. What sort of weird magical social media fantasyland have we just entered here in 2023?
When I popped back on Twitter I was surprised to see some of the criticism posted about Threads (and by people who usually hate Twitter nonetheless). For some it was the missing features — no DM’s or trending topics; for others it was the feed of posts from people they don’t follow (which I assume Meta mainly did to fill up empty space to start out); and for others it was just a deep hatred of Meta, which is understandable. After all, there are plenty of reasons to be critical of Meta— they have a history of abusing our data and radicalizing old folks on Facebook— but if you’re already on Instagram or Twitter or Facebook, then Threads isn’t really doing anything new to you that isn’t being done to you already.
My takeaway from those critiques is that the Stockholm syndrome of Twitter is really quite strong…
And yet as much as I’d like to detach myself from Twitter, it’s still the only place on the internet where you can go to find out what’s happening in the world right now, in real-time. The lack of trending topics in Threads kind of severs us from the rest of the world in a way— all we focus on are just the posts and replies in our feed.
And maybe that’s what we’ve been missing in our social media for a number of years now; a place to just interact and banter with other like-minded folks, and not feel like everything you post has to be part of some “global conversation” where everyone’s mad and a bunch of trolls and Nazi’s are going to show up…
Here’s to hoping it stays as pleasant it is for while.