The decade we just mercifully exited may have left you drained for many reasons, but few things became more exhausting by the end of the 2010s than Elon Musk’s Twitter account.
The enigmatic Tesla and SpaceX CEO spent the past several years building his personal brand, in part, by being weird on Twitter. Most wealthy CEOs have the good sense to either stay off social media entirely or use their accounts to post very unremarkable things. Tim Cook either posts pictures from his travels or congratulates Auburn sports teams on their big wins. It’s a perfectly bland online presence.
Musk is a little more plugged into modern internet culture and, as such, refuses to tweet like that. He wants to post memes. He wants to go viral. In fact, he frequently does, but not always for the right reasons. Musk’s tweets have landed him in legal trouble multiple times.
With all of us collectively cresting a hill into a bold new decade, it’s time to consider blocking, muting, or just ignoring Musk’s tweets. We can do so much better for ourselves. This is why we should shed this burden going forward.
One big distraction
Whether he means to or not, Musk’s public persona often feels like a distraction from real problems plaguing his business ventures. His Twitter account is part of this; if that’s your primary window into his life, you’d think he’s a meme-powered Tony Stark instead of someone with an actual job.
His online presence sometimes brims with optimism about how Tesla and SpaceX can change the world, but that’s not a complete view of things. Should the future of energy-efficient vehicles really be in the hands of a company rife with accusations of workplace racism and lax safety standards at its factories?
That’s a much bigger issue than some bad tweets, but that’s the point: His Twitter account feels like cover. If he tweets about Neon Genesis Evangelion, it gets enough attention to push his company’s problems to the sidelines. Tesla still doesn’t reliably deliver cars on time!
That approach makes a little sense because when Musk bothers to tweet about his job, it often doesn’t go well. His ill-advised declaration that Tesla would go private at $420 a share in 2018 is the stuff of legend, but don’t forget about when he clumsily tried to explain why his factory workers haven’t unionized.
That alone is enough of a reason not to give his meme posts any attention. But if that doesn’t convince you to ignore his tweets, there’s more.
Not funny enough
Comedy is subjective. I frequently laugh at things I couldn’t possibly explain to another person, so I won’t judge anyone for what they like. That said, as we go into a new year, ask yourself: Have you ever laughed at Elon Musk’s joke tweets, or do you just laugh at the idea of them?
I’ll admit there’s something vaguely entertaining about someone who theoretically has important things to do deciding to spend an entire day posting about sheep, but it gets old fast. HIs memes tend to be lukewarm and wouldn’t elicit any kind of reaction if anyone else posted them. You can get that on Reddit if that’s what you really need.
If you really love his jokes, then go ahead and love his jokes. I can’t stop you. But if not, there are better ways to spend time than watching a very wealthy person post recycled content.
Sometimes he even goes too far, such as when he called someone many considered to be a hero a “pedo guy” for reasons we still haven’t figured out. It was just a goof, apparently. He does things like this, declares that he’s leaving Twitter, then comes back a few days later. That cycle will just repeat over time. Feel free to ignore it.
Tough to escape
The worst part of the Musk Twitter Dilemma is that he won’t let us get away. As a big-name tech CEO, his public statements inherently carry some weight, whether we like it or not. His bad tweets will get massive engagement and media coverage regardless of anything said here today.
The stock market once halted Tesla trading because of an Elon Musk tweet. The government had to step in because of a weed joke he posted on the internet. What he says matters to an extent, but the good news is most people don’t need to care about it.
If you cover tech like us or like to play the stock market, you should probably keep Musk off your mute list. Occasionally, he says something you need to know about. If you’re a regular person going about your business, go ahead and hit that mute button. We’re trying to make the 2020s all about living good and living easy, so follow people who are actually funny without any weird baggage.
Or, better yet, don’t follow him in the first place and you won’t ever find yourself needing to put the mute button to work.