Is Twitter important? The world’s richest man just bought it, which indicates that it might be. But it’s also becoming increasingly apparent that he bought it because he thinks it’s unfair that the woke libtards aren’t letting us see all of his dank ass memes, which kinda indicates the opposite.
Regardless of where you stand on that question, it’s clear that the media (hi! that’s us!) thinks it’s extremely important — and this applies to every variety of journalism, from politics, to sports, to those poor bloggers trying to pay off their student loans by writing headlines like This Picture Of Post Malone Dressed As Ted Lasso Is EVERYTHING!
It’s obvious why the media is so hyper-focused on Twitter: it’s a service designed to input their product directly into our brains. Twitter does this at any and all times of the day, whenever we're bored, or in line at the coffee shop, or even on the toilet (which, Jesus, how did we all normalize using our phones on the toilet so quickly and without any debate? We should’ve had a ballot question about this).
But because our brains are nearly infinite in their capacity to absorb a nearly endless supply of content, Twitter also incentivizes the media to keep churning out that content, regardless of whether it has any value whatsoever.
That’s how we get a NESN.com headline like this:
This Christian Vázquez tweet opens the door for a return to the Red Sox. https://t.co/FGmkSEYnS8— NESN (@NESN) November 7, 2022
Woah, big news! Christian Vazquez tweeted that he wants to return to the Red Sox! I wonder what he wrote? Is he determined to retire with the same organization he’d been with for over a decade? Did he say that he has a special relationship with Alex Cora and doesn’t want to play for any other manager? Does he just really miss the prosciutto and fig panini from Tatte?
Let’s take a look at the tweet in question and find out:
Houston thank you so much for this memorable year— Christian Vázquez #9 (@Christian_7_7_) November 7, 2022
Uhh, yeah, that’s it. That’s the tweet. That’s the tweet that NESN.com digital content producer Jason Ounpraseuth turned into a whole article, writing that “[t]he tweet certainly gives off vibes of a farewell statement.”
I mean . . . does it? He had just won the World Series with the Houston Astros less than 24 hours before, which is an objectively memorable experience. And even if you do think it means that he doesn’t intend to stay in Houston, it says absolutely nothing about the Boston Red Sox. Frankly, it seems like exactly the type of anodyne, meaningless tweet that should make us all pause and wonder what the hell the point of Twitter is to begin with. A tweet that actually gives off vibes of a farewell statement would’ve been something like: “Thanks for the ring, but fuck off, Houston! Talk to me when you aren’t an environmentally disastrous hellhole of suburban sprawl with no walkability and a limited public transportation system!” That would be something worth writing about.
Look, I’ve done my time down in the content mines, so I don’t want to drag Ounpraseuth too much here. I’m confident that he’s got content quotas to hit, that was at least moderately embarrassed writing that article, that he’s a smart and capable guy who deserves to spend his days producing more meaningful work than that. But this is what the social media age has wrought. Twitter and the digital media companies who rely on it are determined to occupy your brain every single minute that you’re awake. What they actually occupy your brain with and whether you like it isn’t really relevant, because you’re not the audience; you’re the product, and they need to sell you to advertisers and data collection firms, who will in turn sell you to companies that sell incredibly cheaply-made knock-off clothing that looks surprisingly good when you see it in a targeted ad on your Instagram feed. This is how the world works.
Does Christian Vazquez actually want to return to Boston? He does appear to have a genuine relationship with Alex Cora and Xander Bogaerts, and Tatte is pretty great, so maybe. Are the Red Sox open to having him back? Right now the only two catchers on the big league roster are a career back-up and a prospect who projects to be a career back-up, so maybe there, too. But this tweet doesn’t tell us anything one way or the other.
Unfortunately, it looks like we all need to brace for an entire offseason of this nonsense. Though on the other hand, it also looks possible that world’s richest man is just a couple of days away from inadvertently destroying his $44 billion purchase and making Tom from MySpace relevant again. For all of our sake, let’s hope he does — we’ll just need to find somewhere else to see pictures of celebrities dressed as Ted Lasso. I’m sure the invisible hand will step in and do its thing.