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My Outrage Addiction


If Trump had not become president I’d probably still be enjoying my addiction to twitter. Twitter can be a lot of fun. You throw something out there–a joke, an earnest observation, a hot take about how raisins ruin everything–and you get an immediate response. My old friend Instant Gratification!

But starting around Election Day of ’16 twitter started to feel like a drug that just fed my addiction to outrage. I’ve been angry since the election of Trump; my anger has not abated. And twitter seems to compound my feelings of frustration and rage.

Aside from the Russian bots and trolls making the platform a sloppy joke, it’s filled with MAGA chuds and dirtbag failsons, and it doesn’t matter how anal-retentively I curate my content, I still get fools RTing nonsense:

Oh, Walker Bragman said something offensive and irretrievably stupid.

Oh, I see Ben Shapiro’s back on his bullshit again.

Oh look, Glenn Greenwald is being Glenn Greenwald.

Oh look, a major paper just hired someone objectively awful to write for their opinion page.

Just checked: Trump’s still racist!

And I’m not innocent. I read through many a thread knowing I would find comments by randos that would infuriate me. My addiction to twitter didn’t feel like a good addiction–like reveling in a book or movie or savoring a food you love. It just felt sort of like I was getting a high off negativity. It was starting to feel distinctly unhealthy. So I’ve been spending lots more time away from twitter. And it’s been lovely.

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