Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey shared with the world what he did on his most recent birthday: travel to Myanmar and do a 10-day silent meditation.
Dorsey made a thread on Twitter explaining the experience, and hundreds of people chimed in to remind Jack of the genocide happening in Myanmar that’s been perpetuated by social media, how funny it is that he paid money to get bit by mosquitos, and his general rich white guy privilege.
For my birthday this year, I did a 10-day silent vipassana meditation, this time in Pyin Oo Lwin, Myanmar 🇲🇲. We went into silence on the night of my birthday, the 19th. Here’s what I know 👇🏼
— jack (@jack) December 9, 2018
Of course, Jack took the idea of Vipassanā and translated it into terms that tech people are familiar with, using words like “hack” and “reprogram.”
Vipassana’s singular objective is to hack the deepest layer of the mind and reprogram it: instead of unconsciously reacting to feelings of pain or pleasure, consciously observe that all pain and pleasure aren’t permanent, and will ultimately pass and dissolve away.
— jack (@jack) December 9, 2018
Some people on Twitter compared Dorsey’s experience of embracing pain to their experience on Twitter, where harassment continues to run rampant and negativity permeates every aspect of the platform.
You just encapsulated what it feels like to be on Twitter.
— Natalie Finn (@natfinnonE) December 9, 2018
Another person pointed out how some people really don’t have the option to meditate on their pain, and instead are forced to live and work with it because they can’t afford healthcare.
Poor people sit in their pain every day all day because they can’t afford proper healthcare. But instead of sitting in it they go to work and take care of their families
— emmalu (@emmalu) December 9, 2018
One Twitter user compared Dorsey to Gavin Belson, the villainous businessman from the show Silicon Valley who literally goes on a trip to meditate in Asia only to return to his normal capitalistic ways when he returns to Silicon Valley. Classic rich white tech guys stuff.
.@jack became Gavin Belson so slowly that he didn’t even realize it as it was happening.
— Jeff B. (@EsotericCD) December 9, 2018
One of Dorsey’s more universally funny tweets in his thread was one where he shared that he’d been bitten over 100 times by mosquitos, and that’s pretty hard not to laugh at. People love schadenfreude.
Ive been trying to think of a joke about this but nothing is funnier than just saying it: Jack payed a bunch of money to do a meditation that involved getting bit by 117 mosquitos in 10 mins. He paid for it. He thought it was good pic.twitter.com/2MlnQ81aQ7
— Patrick Gill (@Pizza_Suplex) December 9, 2018
The most egregious part about Dorsey’s Twitter thread is his willingness to ignore the genocide happening in Myanmar, which either he somehow wasn’t aware of or just decided not to mention.
I’m no expert on meditation, but is it supposed to make you so self-obsessed that you forget to mention you’re in a country where the military has committed mass killings & mass rape, forcing hundreds of thousands to flee, in one of today’s biggest humanitarian disasters? https://t.co/D7I26CPTQ8
— Andrew Stroehlein (@astroehlein) December 9, 2018
Mynamar is a dense choice for a social media platform owner to find zen at. But I guess, as long as you were able to still find yourself in a country that Facebook facilitated genocide in.🤦🏼♀️Mynamar military weaponized Facebook for ethnic cleansing. https://t.co/vQQRgGDARA
— Jen; Griswold ⛄️❄️💙 (@jennifer_enough) December 9, 2018
You gotta be aware of this stuff, especially when you’re tweeting it out to hundreds of thousands of people on your own information-sharing platform.