Twitter feels like a massive social experiment. Take 200 million people all with different upbringing, social status, wealth level, and give everyone a blank slate to build a reputation on the internet. On Twitter, I can’t tell who is a secret billionaire and who is a 16 year old acting like a billionaire. We’re all just profiles on a screen typing different letters into a keyboard hoping to sound smart and attract a following.
In some ways, it feels like the great equalizer. I get to follow the smartest people in any industry I am interested in and be a fly on the wall as they casually tweet about a subject they know so well, which allows me to take it all in and be a sponge. I could follow 10 accounts like this and I can learn pretty much anything in weeks through osmosis. Even better, I get to interact with these people and ask them questions. More often than not, they reply. What type of invention allows you to get access to world’s experts without leaving your bedroom? It feels like magic sometimes. I get access to leading venture capitalists, founders, fortune 500 CEOs, writers, scientists, simply by opening up my computer and logging into Twitter.
With that said, I think this mindset gets me in trouble sometimes though. I often forget that the people behind the tweets have a whole interesting life that informs their tweets. The way they were brought up may lead to how they think about the world, which leads to what they tweet about. And in the real world, I generally wouldn’t come across these at any point in my day to day life. At the end of the day, they close their laptop and go to parties with hedge fund managers in penthouses. I shut my laptop and binge Netflix episodes in my small apartment in Tempe, Arizona. They have disposable money to invest in startups. I have disposable money to invest in a nice dinner every few weeks. We live very different lives. Yet online, it doesn’t feel like it.
Because of the internet, I feel like I brush shoulders with stars in Beverly Hills or shake hands with financiers of Wall St. as we all build our network. Sometimes, dare I say it, I feel like I’m in the same class as these people. I think this is the true magic of Twitter. It gives you the illusion that these social or financial barriers between people don’t exist. Twitter has truly built a global network where anyone can make anything of themselves. Yes, while the internet isn’t “real life”, with the advent of cryptocurrencies, NFTs, and DAOs, I think the internet is only in its first innings in allowing people to make money on it.
Some see the internet as a waste of time of some sort or high speed train to a dystopian world. For me? I see it as a chance to start over. No matter where you live or what career path you found yourself in, there is truly unlimited opportunity waiting to be seized and harnessed online. On the internet, you can learn anything, join any circle, and be anyone. It’s free to use with wifi, easy to learn, with the payoff being leveling up your life without uprooting it. So what are you waiting for? Make it on the internet and be anyone, today.