I joined Twitter in December 2008. I was at the beginning of my career and eager to see what the web design and development field was up to. I enjoyed the platform’s brevity and the immediate consumption of information it allowed. I enjoyed that it was inherently open and that people were primarily themselves. I would stumble across something nearly every day that made me wonder how I would have discovered it had it not been for Twitter.
It also seemed like people were less performative. Folks weren’t just posting their lives’ highlight reels or pictures of their food. I understand this isn’t a universal characterization, but the people I followed were mostly cracking jokes or talking about CSS quirks. It really was the most useful social media platform for what I was into.
I stuck to Twitter like a good Elder Millennial while all the other apps came and went. I never tried Instagram or Snapchat, and I sure as hell have never been on TikTok. Twitter just fit the mold.
But it’s time to go.
There’s no complicated calculus here. The new owner of Twitter is a jerk and I don’t want to provide him with content or ad revenue. It’s that simple. There are those that will call the leaving users “snowflakes” and claim we’re scared of free speech and opinions that aren’t our own. That’s all bullshit. People just don’t like hanging out with assholes and will leave if given a chance. Don’t let these trolls and charlatans draw you into a false debate. Our obligation is not to entertain their cruelty disguised as a different point of view.
Twitter is making a mistake if they think users have too much invested to leave. Sure, the heavy hitters will likely stay because they’ve built an audience they are probably monetizing in some way. Fair enough, they have something to lose. But what about all the eyeballs that make Twitter money? What’s keeping them around in a toxic environment? They’ll be bummed that it didn’t work out, just like I am, but they’ll slowly trickle off the platform and figure something else out.
Let’s end on a positive note.
Thanks to everyone that shares their knowledge, humor, and teachable moments for others to enjoy. Humans have been sharing stories for thousands of years and we’ll continue that tradition wherever it makes sense. I’ll see you around, but not on Twitter.