Twitter has been all over the news this past week thanks to Elon Musk’s acquisition of Twitter, his immediate firing of half the staff, and an uproar by liberals who fear the loss of what is one of the most highly and visibly censored social media platforms. So let’s talk about Twitter and if it is of any use for preppers.
I’m on Twitter, and I find it almost useless for prepping. Many of the preppers on the platform are trying to promote their websites, YouTube Channels, podcasts, blogs and products rather than posting information of use to other preppers. If a robust prepper community exists on Twitter, I have not found it.
Breaking News Source
Twitter’s redeeming feature is that if you follow the right people and institutions, you can sometimes get breaking news, often complete with raw video, well before the rest of the world does. During the 2020 riots, for example, I found Twitter had excellent on-the-ground coverage thanks to individuals with cameras who were posting things from the protest that professional television and newspaper journalists never saw or would never publish.
In general, this breaking news aspect works best done at a local level. For example, if the local police lockdown an area because of an active shooter, it will probably be on Twitter in just minutes.
This tells me that if you set up your account notifications correctly and follow the right people and hashtags, you could get news that might help you decided when to bug out, but in, or take an alternate route.
It’s not so good for national and global news. If a nuc explodes in the Ukraine, it’s most likely someone will tweet a news article about it rather than a man-on-the-scene report. After the fact, however, Twitter would likely include footage of the after-effects you won’t see elsewhere.
Too much Crap
My chief problem with Twitter is that it is full of whiners, blamers, crybabies, and idiots. To read your Twitter news feed is to subject yourself to the posts of people you would never associate with face-to-face. In fact, you’d probably try to avoid most of these annoying Twits. (I know I would!) Sure, you can mute them, and I muted dozens if not hundreds, but some new idiot is always popping up.
Then there’s the politics. Twitter is loaded with them. Even folks who are supposed only my “side” of the political spectrum are annoying as often as not. I haven’t logged on for a few days because I don’t want to hear the political bullcrap.
I kind of feel about in-you-face politics like I do about church: I don’t care who you worship, just do me a favor and don’t try to convert me. We’re all have the right to our beliefs, but we don’t have the right to force them on others. I don’t mind if you put signs in your yard and stickers on your bumper, but don’t stand on my porch and shout your feelings in my window. Twitter, sadly, has too much people who would do just that.
Social Media Versus Real Life
After I posted about beekeeping, I started getting dozens of “save the Bees” tweets, yet few of these posters would go so far as to plant a flower, and fewer still will spend a few bucks to get a beehive and save some bees themselves. For these social media warriors, just saying “Save the bees” is good enough.
This is what our world has become and one reason why it is falling apart. Too many people are content to shout slogans, but when it comes to doing something to create change, they shy away because it is too much hard work. The person who reposts that same old image of the blue bee for the ten thousandth time isn’t solving a problem; they are just reposting to feel good about themselves and hope someone else sees what a good person they are. They are virtue signaling in an echo chamber.
Are their people on Twitter and other social media sites who have homesteads? Sure, lots of them. And there are also people on the same sites who want to tell them what they’re doing wrong, even though they’ve never milked a goat, gathered an egg still warm from a chicken, or used a chainsaw.
Forums are Better
It’s enough to make me long for the days of alt.misc. survivalism when people who posted on the newsfeed were actual survivalist. Forums and comment sections on prepping logs are a far better source of information on prepping from people who are preppers than Twitter. When you post in the comments on a prepping site or visit a prepping (or gun, or car, or tool, or whatever) forum, you’re going to get straight answers from people know what they are doing or at least have a sound basis for their comments. I’ve seen nothing on Twitter to make me think people want to be helpful. Most of the Twits are there for self-serving reasons.
If Elon asked me for advice, I’d tell him to make Twitter fun and useful. Right now, it’s neither, and I don’t think it has much redeeming social value. That I can go six months without logging in should be proof.
At least when I burn an hour watching TikTok or YouTube shorts, I’m usually laughing. Twitter is like a slow-motion car crash; it’s hard to tear your eyes away, but you gain nothing by watching it except a nasty taste in your mouth.