WASHINGTON, DC – JANUARY 20: United States President Joe Biden speaks during his on the Western Front of the … [+]
People have many opinions. Some of them even make sense.
The newest trope? Social media pundits chatter about how President Biden (we can say that by noon) owns a peloton bike.
I haven’t looked into Pelotongate but apparently he wants to take one to the White House and, I don’t know, use it? Do you exercise?
Again no politics here. It’s only a strange development because the reaction is downright harmless, even from the people who are against Peloton bikes. (If you missed my piece on last year’s woman from Peloton, be sure to read it over.)
I can go on board with a harmless mood. Social media has gone through some dark days over the past few years, even to the point where I only checked my own feeds after putting on armor, growing thick skin, and scrolling very quickly at times.
The barbs were in full force, a stark contrast to the first decade when Twitter grew my own fan base, connected with readers, and discussed things in mostly congenial ways. That was around 2015 when the concept of social connections in a free trade area helped.
Then the glove fell off.
I swear it was late 2015 when I noticed growing volatility. Not only did we choose to speak up about our complaints, we discussed their complaints with people endlessly. A whole generation of newly minted college graduates, called Gen Z, formed during this hateful time of pointing fingers and online bumps.
Here’s what I want to do about it.
Some of you may be familiar with the phantom time hypothesis. It’s a bit of an edge. Conspiracy theory suggests that events were erased from the history books and the modern calendar changed so that an entire period (basically the years 614–911) did not exist. It’s a fascinating theory, though most historians outright reject it.
However, the person who made the phantom time hypothesis could have had a point. Why not do a calendar correction, especially when nothing really happened that was so remarkable? I would like to propose a similar strategy for the last few years of social media history. The angry trolls, the constant pontification over wrong viewpoints, the text-based clashes over trivial details – let’s call it the lost years of social media and start over.
It can begin with the peloton controversy. First, there is none. Biden can follow any exercise program he wants at the White House and no one should care, not even this person:
I mean security risk? Doesn’t suit his person? It’s a training bike. Before that, it was also a commercial. Not a real person who lives in the real world, but an actress who at some point laughed at the whole thing and promptly started doing more advertising again.
The complicated dissection of minor deviations must end. Today I want to nominate the day we begin to use social media for healthy discussions, lively but constructive debates, and exchanging real views in accordance with our country’s free speech mandates.
And maybe stop yelling at you so often.