I joined Twitter in November 2006, upon being told about it by a friend I knew from the days of AOL Instant Messenger, iMusic, Yahoo Instant Messenger, and Blackplanet, Lis. Shortly afterwards, I began to connect with other early adapters like Ray, Kenya, Brian, EJ, Will, Terri, and Todd aka The Big La. “In the early 2010s, when Twitter, which launched in 2006, was still relatively fresh, the site had a dramatically different atmosphere. People were more likely to tweet about fairly mundane things: school gossip, lunch, Shonda Rhimes’ hit TV series “Scandal.” Twitter was a place where ordinary people could talk about ordinary things”1 For me, it was just that, posting about the what DID appear to be mundane things – what you had for breakfast, lunch, dinner, running late for work, how you’re feeling, etc. I posted about all those things and, in addition, mainly about tech and music production (to include podcasting), along with other hobbies of mine. It was a relaxed, friendly, and fun place that forced you to be confined to the microblog’s limit of 140 characters. It was about or year or two later when my friend DarrenKeith aka DK joined. He and a number of us, including EJ, Fave (RIH), BSOTS, and many others were hosting podcasts on a regular basis, some weekly like DarrenKeith’s My Love For Music, Fave’s Friday Favecast, EJ’s Wayback Wednesday, and my podcast, theSunday Soundtrack. We are all pretty much regularly blogging back then. I know DK and I still do.
Fast forward to 2022, Twitter has changed tremendously as Internet technology advanced. Twitter was once known as a social network (like Facebook), but that term died and has been replaced with “social media”. Twitter has adopted a slew of new features, just like many other social media sites, but with the growth of technology, the advent and ease of first person news reporting, the use of advertising, algorithms, mobile device social media apps, and the like, Twitter has grown to possess the good and the bad (the latter I like to refer to as being akin to a cesspool).
Recently, the news has been full of the fact that Elon Musk has purchased Twitter. Most of that news (I’d say close to 100%) is that Twitter, based on who Elon Musk is, will suffer greatly at the hands of this millionaire and what he proposes to turn the site into, with respect to free speech and non-anonymity. From what I read, it’s a forthcoming doomsday for sure. Frankly, even with all Elon has been in the news for, the good and the bad, it’s speculation, which I treat as just that. Many say they’ll be part of the exodus already, despite the fact that he hasn’t fully taken over and no changes will be seen for at least six months from now.
Being a user of Twitter for as long as I have been, I’ve seen its evolution and know pretty much exactly how it works. I choose to follow who I do and use its privacy settings available to make my Twitter experience as pleasing as it can be for me. I can’t stand its algorithms in the least bit, BUT, algorithms are innate to social media technology so it’s something we all must live with.
As of today, I have no desire to leave Twitter and don’t plan to UNLESS (under the guise of ‘”free speech”) the environment becomes unavoidably more riddled with hate speech and the like. If that becomes a reality, I’ll take my 65000+ tweets and hit the road – meaning I will not participate/engage as a user any longer. No, I am not going to create a Mastodon (or similar) account and start all over. There is one site similar to Twitter, pnut.io, 100% user run, that I will continue to remain on (since joining in 2017). What I will also do is something DK and I have discussed ad infinitum – crosspost my blog posts from my blog (or walled garden as DK and I refer to it), along with future episodes of my latest podcast Tech Times, and give Twitter users the opportunity to visit. Might as well leverage social networking tech, yes? I’ve lived without Twitter prior to it’s existence, and if I feel the need to do so in the near future, I will. I enjoy Twitter for what it offers me and have connected with many great and resourceful users over the years that have expanded my personality, as well knowledge in a handful of personal interests, for the better. For what it’s worth, I never saw Twitter as a “race thing”, but a community of global users. Yes, racial issues continue to plague us today, but nonetheless…
Time will tell with regards to my exodus or not.
If you decide to leave Twitter, for whatever reason, what will you do, where will you go?
Thanks or the read.
1: Elon Musk’s possible takeover of Twitter is unsettling for many Black users