Twitter released a feature that allows you to connect your crypto wallet to your Twitter account. Once you connect your wallet, you can set your profile picture to an NFT that you own.

I mean… setting your profile picture (”pfp”) wasn’t a hard problem before. Right click > Save As, right? But this feature eliminates your phone’s camera roll as a middleman and instead inserts your wallet and the OpenSeas API as two third-party middlemen instead. If you’re wealthy enough to own enough NFTs that you have a hard time managing them all as profile pics, I suppose this is useful.

Ok. Whatever. Then Twitter’s implementation took it a step further and when you add your NFT as a pfp (which you could do before), it added a hexagonal clipping mask to NFT profile pictures. Users that have NFTs get a hexagon, users that don’t get regular old circles. That distinction, that ability to broadcast status, is now coded into the entire application.

It’s weird. NFT pfps already had a strong sense of in-group membership and status performance. You could already spot a crypto enthusiast by their gaudy, semi-generative, ape-themed or pixelated punk profile pic. Thousands of minted NFTs already had a consistent square format (for use as profile pictures) but Twitter added hexagons to the mix for… pizazz? As a watermark to assert ownership?

The crypto community is not short on memes and social signifiers: apes, whales, pixel punks, diamond hands, to the moon, laser eyes, “gm”, WAGMI, probably nothing, .eth usernames, and a slew of in-group words no one else uses like “airdrop”, “fiat”, “petrodollar”, etc. Plenty of indicators, why add another?

I shouldn’t get worked up about a shape, but what I specifically don’t like about the hexagons are that they create another form of “otherism”; haves and have-nots. HODLers and NGMIs. Two camps. In-group and out-group. It’s creating division in a place where the world didn’t need any help creating division. The world doesn’t need more us versus them, yet we willingly apply feature glitter to increse the divide.

Somewhat apropos to this whole situation we’ve found ourselves in, the hexagon is just a thin veneer of symbolism; a mask applied to the mundane giving it the appearance of something special. An illusion of value.

Transmitted via web2 for obvious reasons.