Elon. Are you reading this?
Who am I kidding? We both know you are. That's the problem.
Listen, man: We need to talk.
It's time for you to quit Twitter.
It pains me to say this because it's people like you who make Twitter enjoyable for the rest of us. And it should pain you to hear that, because enjoyable Twitter is bad Twitter.
It's the kind of Twitter where someone famous tweets something and then tons of other people retweet it beneath eyeball emojis or GIFs of someone eating popcorn or "SMDH." Twitter is a crackling garbage can fire, and lately, you've been the No. 1 supplier of oily rags.
I'm not just talking about you calling one of the rescuers who worked to save that Thai soccer team trapped in the cave a pedophile and then apologizing for it in a tweet that blamed him for provoking you. Or about you wildly accusing journalists who criticize you of being secretly in league with Wall Street short-sellers. Or you using your account to bash union-organizing efforts at Tesla. Or about you woe-is-me-ing about being called a billionaire, and billionaire-splaining the true meaning of socialism to socialists.
I'm talking about all of it. The cumulative impression it creates is of you as a man with nothing better to do than be mad online.
When you retweet your fanboys, it cuts against the idea of you those fanboys cherish: a genius inventor, a crusader who's fanatically devoted to humanity's future, a workaholic who can run four or five or six companies because he has the superhuman willpower to do things like sleep on his factory floor rather than go home at night.
There may be people out there who are such high-functioning, laser-focused multitaskers they can plausibly claim to be spending every waking second solving problems and still have time left over to look at their phones, but it's increasingly clear you're not one of them. You're just another dopamine junkie, jerked around by every new notification, compulsively pulling to refresh.
You're one of us.
Surely you have noticed that your tech billionaire peers, almost to a person, aren't like this. They go out of their way to be aggressively boring on social media.
Mark Zuckerberg (I know, he's not exactly a hero of yours) has a huge team of people managing his Facebook posts and doesn't tweet at all.
Jeff Bezos's version of getting loose is tweeting photos of himself making pancakes with Russell Wilson.
Even the ones who aren't afraid to be seen as humans with actual opinions, like Marc Benioff, mostly content themselves to retweeting others in a pointed way.
As a journalist, the last thing in the world I should be rooting for is for the people I write about to maintain a protective force field around their true beliefs. I should be saying Elon, dude, keep it up! You're killing it! Let it all hang out!
But the thing is, I actually kind of want you to succeed in your goals of making zero-emissions transportation economical, making urban mass transit massively faster, preventing AI from rebelling against humanity and even making humanity a multi-planetary species. Those seem like...pretty good things?
(The flamethrower was stupid. But still.)
So do us all a favor.
Give your Twitter password to someone less interesting. Have them change it--and not tell you the new one. Whether or not you succeed in rescuing humanity, at least you can save your shareholders from their heartburn.
And--for the love of God--make it easier for the rest of us to walk away from the garbage can.