Elon Musk bought Twitter in October for $44 billion. That doesn’t mean he is confident that social media is good.
In a response posted early Thursday to a tweet stating that “anti-social tendencies are causing people to be more isolated,” Musk said: “Maybe we should spend less time on social media … ?”
Maybe we should spend less time on social media … ?
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) January 12, 2023
The tweet Musk responded to was referencing a 2021 study that found that individuals’ social networks had diminished over the last three decades. It also determined this drop-off in friendships was more common among men.
An interesting wrinkle in Musk addressing the question is that he is still the Twitter power user he was before buying the site. The exchange occurred after midnight on Thursday, and Musk was tweeting again by 9 a.m. As Business Insider noted, a look at the frequency of Musk’s Twitter use made in November 2022 showed that he was putting out an average of a tweet per hour before acquiring the social media site.
The analysis also showed that he was tweeting — including replies and retweets — even more often after buying Twitter. Answers to other users made up most of his Twitter activity before and after the purchase.
Musk’s musings on social media use aren’t as inconsistent as they might seem, given his high-profile Twitter acquisition. For example, he said in the past that the impulse to check his phone first thing each morning was a “terrible habit” he wanted to break. “I’m going to switch from immediately looking at my phone as soon as I wake up,” he said on a podcast in 2022, “to working out for at least 20 minutes — then I’ll look at my phone.”