On Wednesday, April 8, I had some business to do in Berlins City. So I happened to visit Berlin Hauptbahnhof, the most busiest railway station in the town. It was nearly empty. To document this, I made a small video.
To me, this was impressive and disturbing at the same time.
Following an internal discussion last week, I decided to do something I always wanted to do: I created a video. The topic is serious, although the preview picture is not: It is about why you are tracked by Google and Facebook (and many other companies) and what you can do about it.
I have to admit: It was a lot of fun making the video, and I see plenty of room for improvement. But it was a good start and I am planning to do more videos. So feel free to subscribe to my channel and leave a comment. 🙂
The past days, I was re-activating and refitting my old iMac, allowing me to work on a big screen. In parallel, I also moved some other equipment, such as an additional monitor, a professional microphone, a way more comfortable chair and a bigger desk to my new workplace.
I have to say, I’m quite happy with this arrangement. It allows for professional work, and I still have some room left. I need to do something in regard to the blank wall behind, but that is an additional step.
To me, being trapped at home is quite a new experience. I am used to work remotely for the past 15 years, so no issue with that, but now that I am forced to work from home (a stationary location), my Laptop might not be my best companion anymore, at least for the foreseeable future. So I figured, I had to change something…
My approach to working from home is to use my old 2009 iMac (which I understood to be some hobby project to me) as my main computer, at least as long as raw power is not required. I therefore executed some minor upgrades: I moved it into my “new” workspace at home, added an SSD, changed the graphics card, connected a professional webcam. Today I will replace the desk with bigger one and add 32 GB of RAM. And then I’ll be fine working here the next months. 🙂
And, BTW: I love having 27 inches. I wished my laptop would have this screen size. 🙂
To me, things as the channel tunnel are signs of freedom and peace. We should never forget how the world looked like 75 years ago.
Having this in mind, I enjoy doing business as a German in each European county, regardless of being a member of EU or not. And especially I enjoy doing business and meeting awesome people in the UK, where I’ll stay until sunday.
I have to admit: I was a Twitter-fanatic back then. I used it for 10 years now, but for the past couple of years, Twitter got more and more irrelevant to me personally, so I mainly utilized it for sharing business-announcements and the likes.
That could have continued for the next ten years, but there is a different aspect in Twitter disturbing me: The discussion culture, or better: The lack of any discussion culture.
Discussions vs. Shouting
I was raised with a culture of asking and discussing. That was something, I liked in the Newsgroups in the 90s and in many, many forums. It was a matter of respect, allowing others to make their point and to hear their arguments – and discussing them, attacking the arguments (not the person) and always knowing there’s a person on the other end. That gave things a personal aspect, there was room for irony, jokes and even friendships growing from there.
I learned a lot from this. It widened my horizon. It allowed me to grow.
With Twitter, this is different.
Twitter is not a place for discussion or for learning from other people’s arguments. Twitter is for shouting out, for sharing something without caring about any others, since there is no such things as threads, moderation and a common sense, as you have (or had) with other platforms. It is about being the loudest, mobilizing people, shortening things to just headlines. It is about black and white – and nothing in-between. There is no room for personal aspects, for irony or jokes, since pretty much everything is dragged out onto the public. There is no humanity anymore, there are Twitter-bots and a loud, cheering crowd.
That changed discussion culture in our society: We have a US-president, who’s making politics by using Twitter. We have shitstorms. We have right-winged parties just pushing and hating – and communities, that behave the same.
Perhaps I’m too old for that
I don’t want to be part of that game anymore.
Perhaps I’m too old, perhaps I’m too conservative, perhaps I’m too naive – but I usually expect people to get in touch instead of just starting shitstorms, I expect people to express their questions, criticism and concerns towards me before mobilizing masses. And I don’t see that happening anymore with Twitter. Because it is so easy to just attack instead of asking or instead of discussing (and accepting other points of view). Black-White is always easier than Colors and Shades.
That is not the way I want to be involved in discussions. That is not the way I want to operate. That is not what defines me. That is not what reflects me, my ideas, my wishes and expectations.
Therefore: Farewell, Twitter. We’re going different paths, I do not want to be part of the shouting crowd anymore. There are more important things in life than Twitter and a culture of obsession and being loud. I doubt reaching the right people here with the right messages. My company will perhaps remain with Twitter, but I’ll quit that chapter for me.
In September 1939, World War II began, causing a minimum of 60mio casualties. Just six years before that, in January 1933, the last free elections were held in Germany – allowing the Nazis to take over and to start their match towards total war.
When there is one thing to take away from that, it is to do the right thing: Go, and cast your vote at the European Elections this Sunday.
There is no sense in remaining at home or in trying to utilize the internet for any kind of outrage or hoping something will change without standing up for it: That will not change anything, because that does not matter in the end, that’s just noise.
Just go and vote, since the moment of truth is at the elections and if you want to convince people of your opinion, reach out to them and talk to them. One by one.