The strange habits of Twitter’s Jack Dorsey

Jack of all fads: Twitter’s CEO went on a 10-day meditation retreat in Myanmar for his birthday. © Getty

What should we make of Jack Dorsey? The Twitter CEO has made headlines for his bizarre wellness routines, which include fasting and ice baths. Some say he is a guru. Others are worried…

Jack Dorsey is the CEO of Twitter. Every weekday morning, he meditates for an hour. He takes an ice-cold bath to give him “mental confidence”. He has a breakfast of “salt juice”: water mixed with salt and lemon. Unless he is working from home, he walks five miles to work.

He does not eat until the evening. It will be “a meal of fish, chicken, or steak with a salad, spinach, asparagus or Brussels sprouts,” explains CNBC.

At weekends, he does not eat at all between Friday and Sunday night. “The first time I did it […] I felt like I was hallucinating,” he told a fitness podcast last month. When he tried again, he noticed that “time really slowed down”.

For some, he is seen as a guru. Last weekend, The New York Times wrote: “An endorsement from Mr. Dorsey can put products out of stock for weeks.”

But others are worried about the message he is sending. The CEO of America’s National Eating Disorders Association told Mother Jones that his endorsement of fasting is “potentially dangerous”.

All of this matters. Dorsey is not just any tech CEO. Twitter is a hugely influential website, with a lot of problems — from online abuse to the disruption of democracy.

So what should we think of him?

Not so fast?

You don’t have to follow his advice (and you should definitely not go for days without food), but he is clearly committed to hard work, say some. These elaborate routines may look strange, but he obviously wants to be healthy and productive. Better that than the reckless behaviour of his opposite, Elon Musk.

He is a worrying figure, argue others. His routines are not inspiring, they are obsessive and unhealthy. They set a terrible example for those who admire him. Dorsey acts more like a cult leader than a man in charge of a website that is changing the very fabric of society.

You Decide

  1. Has Twitter made the world a better place?

Activities

  1. Tweeting is an exercise in brevity — you have just 280 characters per post. Summarise what you think of Jack Dorsey in the length of a Tweet, and share your thoughts with the class.

Some People Say...

“Make every detail perfect and limit the number of details to perfect.”

Jack Dorsey

What do you think?

Q & A

What do we know?
Jack Dorsey is the founder and CEO of Twitter and a payments tech company called Square. His estimated wealth is $5 billion. He says he is shifting his focus on Twitter from growth to “conversation health”.
What do we not know?
Whether he is up to the job. We also do not know whether he really has an eating disorder, as this would be impossible to diagnose from afar.

Word Watch

Online abuse
Last year, a study by Amnesty International found that a problematic or abusive tweet was sent to a woman every 30 seconds.
Democracy
Along with Facebook, Twitter has been blamed for helping to spread fake news during elections. Last month, it released a tool to make reporting misinformation easier.
Elon Musk
The founder of Tesla and SpaceX was fined $20 million for tweets with false information about Tesla’s market shares. He also got in trouble for smoking marijuana on a live podcast recording.

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