Five weeks ago New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman made a big, splashy announcement that she was leaving Twitter. She even penned a Sunday op-ed explaining why she needed to “pull back” from the medium.
She’s right. Or, she was right. Twitter is for morons. It’s the best and worst thing to happen to journalism in years. On one hand, hyper helpful. On the other, it seems to rot your brain and like pot, kind of makes us simultaneously smart, dumb and pseudo deep.
In a “News Analysis” piece in the Sunday Times, Haberman quite seriously explained, “The viciousness, toxic partisan anger and intellectual dishonesty are at all-time highs.”
Ohhhhh. Please pass the tissue.
“I woke up last Sunday morning feeling anxiety in my chest as I checked the Twitter app on my phone, scrolling down to refresh, refresh, refresh,” she wrote. “There was a comment I started to engage with — I opened a new post, tapped out some words, then thought better of it and deleted the tweet. The same thing happened repeatedly for the next two hours.”
She said it pointlessly drained her time and mental energy.
A friend suggested that she should walk away.
She thought, wow, yeah, I can do that. But just in case, she left us with a way back in — she’d return someday, but in a completely other manner. “I will re-engage eventually, but in a different way,” she wrote.
And this: “I mostly enjoyed being able to interact with readers and suspect I will again someday,” she explained. “It just won’t be soon.”
Well…”soon” has arrived in 40 days. In the Bible, the number is linked to a judgment or trial period. As the story goes, God made it rain for 40 days and 40 nights. There are many, many other biblical 40’s but who has time for that now? On Tuesday, Haberman began tweeting again. This time about how President Trump is a complete idiot when it comes to his computer.
So what lured her back?
In part, it was her coworker, Dan Barry, who wrote, “So the President of the United States is effectively Googling himself – and finding the results disappointing.” This stemmed from a terribly early Tuesday morning tweet in which Trump said Google had “RIGGED” the search engine to make him look “BAD.”
Haberman couldn’t contain herself: “He doesn’t use a computer,” she Trumpsplained. “Someone is doing the googling but not him.”
The Daily Beast‘s Sam Stein jumped in while she was biting. “He could google on his phone though, right?” he asked her.
She replied, “He isn’t tech-savvy.”
Haberman received lots of warm pats on the back for that one. There are a lot of people who think Trump is as stupid as it gets. But she also attracted absurd Twitter anger that could damage her brain as well.
“Really, girl?” a follower asked.
Another: “Yeah, but almost every 70 year old can operate their smartphone. He can Google things Maggie. Jesus.”
And another: “So, you’re that intimate with him you know whether he’s learned how to use his phone, say, using Twitter?”
Then there was “Troy” who insulted Haberman, saying, “You’re not truth-savvy.” And “CabinLoon” who seemed to question her intelligence: “No kidding. FFS. (But, you know, Maggie.)”
With every dig came praise. “Lol you effectively just called him a retard. And you’re 100% correct.”
Twitter is so toxic. She really ought to try leaving for awhile.