Why are so many otherwise rational people spending so much time ranting about Donald Trump and other politicians on social media? Yes, of course Trump is a dangerous basket case. But ranting about him to your few hundred online friends and followers who already share your opinion is the same as peeing down your trouser leg when wearing a dark suit - it gives you a nice warm feeling but nobody notices. Beware of the trap that lured the British twittering classes into believing that if they made enough noise on social media about the benefits of remaining in the EU, the referendum result was a foregone conclusion. Instead of ranting about Trump, people should read Jarett Kobek's novel i hate the internet, and this passage in particular:
One of the curious aspects of the Twenty-First Century was the great delusion amongst many people, particularly in the San Francisco Bay Area, that freedom of speech and freedom of expression were best exercised on technological platforms owned by corporations dedicated to making as much money as possible.No review sample used in this post. Renault 4 going nowhere was photographed by me in Essaouira, Morocco. Any copyrighted material is included as "fair use" for critical analysis only, and will be removed at the request of copyright owner(s). Inevitably but ironically also on Facebook and Twitter.
People from across all the political spectrum loved Twitter. Instant activism with an instant response. There was the sensation that things were happening that people were listening.In fact, all of the people who exercised freedom of speech and freedom of expression on Twitter were doing nothing more and nothing less than creating content they did not own for a corporation in which they had no stake...
The only purpose of tweeting was the creation of new opportunities for advertisements. The only function of exercising freedom of speech and freedom of expression on Twitter was to make money for the people who had founded and invested in twitter.
So that was radical activism in 2013. Hosted by a service owned by white dudes which displayed advertisements for Coca-Cola and Pepsi.