The following was posted to Twitter on November 17th, amid Twitter’s employee melt-down. Two days later, DT’s account was re-enabled on the site, and it became clear that it wasn’t a place I wanted to be anymore. So, here’s my last post for the foreseeable future. Find me on Mastodon (@firstname.lastname@example.org) for now.
March 2008. I had one kid and a second was on its way. 11 years living in a city with no family and the majority of my friends were grad students who – even then – couldn’t afford to stay in Vancouver after graduating. Twitter was a way to connect with new people with similar interests. Most of them geeky, many of them outgoing introverts. Tweet ups. For whatever reason, GenX seemed to really embrace this medium. None of my friends had kids. But I found a parenting community here, local, across Canada, and worldwide. @alexishinde @tjrossignol @Nicole013 @buzzbishop @Stv @anndouglas. Twitter became a way to experience events. World events. Local events. Elections. The Olympics. It became *the place* to learn about breaking news and experience those things with a community. And Twitter, meeting tweeps IRL, what a thing. Still many of the people I interact with most often here I’ve never met, and quite a number I still have no idea what their real names are. Some people I *have* met IRL I struggle to remember their names but not their handles 🙂 Twitter became a way to interact with media and entertainment personalities. Some were only on broadcast, but some kept it real, were genuine, and interacted like the real people they are. Despite the growing tsunami of abuse from bleachers.
#otctu … are you kidding me?
Twitter changed over the past 14 years, for sure. It moved from being local and geeky to being global, dominated by loud voices, often competing to be the loudest, most outrageous. Many of the early people left, some stuck around, and new people found Twitter. As my kids grew up I moved from #parenting and #geocaching to #vsb and #vanpoli and #bikeyvr, meeting so many interesting people, both online and IRL.
Memes. Oh god, the memes.
I don’t think Twitter got better or worse, necessarily, until quite recently. With the rise of truthers, denialists, and – frankly – loud mouth assholes, Twitter became a noisy, irritating place even if you kept a well-curated feed. And now an immature man with more money than brains is burning it all down. I don’t know if Twitter will survive and if it does, if it will ever regain its former self. It feels like this is the end. And if it is, I want to say thank you to everyone I’ve connected with, who have made me laugh, made me think, made me learn more, people I’ve met and not, and all who have put up with me 🙂 You made Twitter a nice place to be.