So, this morning I woke up to the news that Donald Trump is launching his own social media channel called – get this – TRUTH Social, which will eventually have a video-on-demand subscription service which means you pay for what you get.
Gee - what a surprise! Donald Trump is trying out another way to make a fast buck.
This guy wouldn’t know the truth if his life depended on it. He also wouldn’t know how to behave with the slightest shred of decency or dignity, bur I can’t really blame him for that. After all, when he left office and couldn’t steal the White House silverware, Bill Clinton started something called the Clinton Foundation which was nothing more than a pre-social media effort to peddle his name as a brand.
I’m beginning to think that maybe it’s time for me to get off social media entirely and confine my internet usage only to email and paying various bills digitally rather than by mail. Because the truth is that the internet has become nothing more than a superhighway not for information, but for ads, in particular for ads promoting crap that I really don’t need.
When was the last time you switched on your droid or your iPhone or your laptop and saw an ad for toilet paper? When was the last time you received a message telling you to run down to Stop & Shop to buy a pound of coffee or a pint or ice cream? I don’t do very well without coffee, and I can’t get very far if at first, I don’t take the trouble to go to the bathroom, sit down on the toilet and then wipe my ass.
But this morning when I opened my browser, I received an ad from some company called Peruvian Connection, which sells something called a Palomar Dress, no doubt fabricated in China, for $279 or a Campfire Cardigan sweater for $229. That’s clothing that my wife and I really need.
The whole point about the internet is that it allows companies like Facebook and Twitter to sell everything they know about their viewers to companies like Peruvian Connection which don’t want to waste previous advertising dollars sending out ads to just anyone who happens to be online. This outfit, whose headquarters happens to be in Kansas, wants its advertising to go to people who live in certain places, have a certain amount of income, look at websites showcasing similar products and most of all, are willing to piss away money on things they really don’t need.
If Trump really does get this social media gig up and running, what I’m going to find interesting about it is not what he says or who he gets to make some videos on his behalf. What will be the tip-off for me is which products are advertised on this channel because this will tell me the type of person who still thinks the so-called MAGA movement means anything at all.
Unless of course I do what I said above and shut down my connection to the browser-based internet once and for all.
I started using email back in the 1980’s, when it was still controlled by the government and you could only get an account if you were connected to a university or research facility that worked with DARPA, an acronym which means Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency – the guys who give out all the military research dough.
The DAPRA-based email system was only text, but it sure beat hell out of sending a letter to Europe or standing in front of a fax machine which made all kinds of crazy beeps and whistles but then nothing came out.
Then along came something called Netscape which released its first image-based browser in 1994, I built my first website in 1995, which was before most of the readers of this column, I’m willing to bet, were even ten years old. And like everyone else, I couldn’t believe that all of a sudden, I was connected to places and people all over the world and could send them not just text, but pictures as well
. Know what happened? The microchips got smaller and faster and now everything that used to require a six-pound, desktop computer fits in your droid. And I seem to be about the only person who eats a whole meal in a restaurant these days and never (read: never) pulls out his phone. Not even once.
How did Grandpa get through life without an iPhone? How did he know how to go to work every day, how to stop off on the way home and buy whatever Grandma needed to make the evening meal? How did he know how to set the alarm for the next morning except he didn’t need to set it ‘nuch Shabbos’ (read: day before Saturday) on Friday nights?
I am quite serious about doing without social media, particularly because I don’t want to rely on a communication technology which allows a dumb asshole like Donald Trump to pretend that what he’s saying bears even the slightest relationship to the truth.
If all of a sudden, a lot of people decided they didn’t need a connection to Facebook or Twitter or any of those other goddamn channels which serve no useful purpose at all, maybe just maybe we would return to a world in which what really matters is just doing what you have to do to live a normal and uncluttered life.
I wouldn’t count on it, though.