Well this one threw us for a loop. Stephen King, who is notoriously active on Twitter, hates the social media platform.
On Tuesday night, the horror author received the PEN Literary Service Award at the 2018 PEN Literary Awards. During his speech, he spoke about words, books, and the power of written form. According to Mashable, King also mentioned Twitter, which he referred to as the “intellectual dead zone where clear thinking and kindness is too often replaced by schoolyard taunts. And not to mention bad spelling and bad grammar.”
He wasn’t done there. King went on to say, “The percentage of readers is relatively small compared to the population as a whole. Just think for a minute of all the people you see on these streets every day staring at their phones or with earbuds in their ears. Then think of how few of them are staring at a printed page instead.” He then described “close minded and mean spirited” people who are in positions of power, making a not-so-subtle reference to President Trump, whom he often roasts on Twitter.
The irony is that King posted about his award on– you got it, Twitter– earlier that morning.
Great PEN America event last night at the Museum of Natural History in NYC. I was proud to be there in support of imprisoned writers and free expression and TRUE NEWS.
— Stephen King (@StephenKing) May 23, 2018
And what’s more awkward is that in 2014, the CEO of Twitter received the 2014 PEN/Toni and James C. Goodale Digital Freedom Award for his work with Twitter. And as Mashable aptly points out, the literary foundation also uses Twitter to help reach a larger audience.
It doesn’t seem like King is going to stop using Twitter in the near future; rather, it seems he felt that it would be wise to use his platform at the awards ceremony to caution people against relying solely on a program that limits the number of characters we can use to voice our thoughts and opinions.