It seems that Twitter has now become as comfortable of a place as our own living room in saying and doing anything we want. Any online place where you hang out for hours every day or night is going to end up that way, which makes Twitter one of the greatest and alternately worst places for viewing society. If you’re overly sensitive to seeing various iconic celebrities acting like they do in real life, then Twitter probably isn’t the best place for you. To those who love studying people, seeing the famous and non-famous alike acting as they really are is one that’s both enlightening and potentially fun.
Regardless, is everyone really acting like their true selves on Twitter, or are some of them putting on an act in order to fit a certain persona they believe in? There isn’t a doubt that some comedians on Twitter are almost playing a character like Stephen Colbert does in order to take on a sense of online performing. And you also have those who end up saying something seriously controversial, leaving you wondering if they really meant what they said or were only half kidding.
“Wheel of Fortune” host Pat Sajak is the latest one to say something that sounds like something you’d only say if having an evening drink spiked with truth serum. Then again, those who think climate change isn’t happening are fairly vocal about it, despite polls showing that the majority thinks otherwise. However, a famous person equating those who believe in it as racists is a whole other toe over the line we had yet to see on Twitter.
What is the psychology behind Twitter that’s compelling people to say things they’d never be able to say on TV, or any other public forum without being chewed out by the majority?
The Act of Independence on Twitter
When you’re a notable person who enjoys speaking their mind, clicking on the “Notifications” icon might have to be done at your own risk. With Twitter now giving you pop-up windows of what’s said when replies first come in (and a number sign to indicate how many you have), you may get the usual combination of comment section lowlifes, and constructive criticism. Considering Pat Sajak isn’t exactly known for controversy, you have to assume his notification box was typically fairly benign until now.
But there might be some who don’t even bother to interact with people often on Twitter. If you have Sajak on your follow list, then you probably notice that he doesn’t interact often with other people. In any other circles, that would indicate a spam account where the page is filled with nothing but promotional tweets or intellectual aphorisms to fool people they follow. For a notable person, it’s a little rare.
In that regard, you have an interesting new look at how a notable person would psyche themselves into saying something on Twitter without realizing the consequences. Are there a new majority of tweeters who don’t bother with interactions because they fear what’s being said in reply? When that happens, Twitter truly does become your personal diary or living room where you can spout anything you want. If that notable is used to being on TV, it may give them the same sense of having a disconnected wall between them and the viewer.
It’s a new social aspect to Twitter we may have to use now to decipher why certain things are tweeted in comparison to those who interact more. With Alec Baldwin being one of the rare notables who interacted as well as synonymously spouting controversial views, he found out that the Notifications box is also today’s equivalent to the public stoning and setup for being an online pariah. Twitter is now the rare place where you can choose to be an online pariah, if also bringing the threat of baring your soul in a way that may bring regrets in the real world.