“True terror is to wake up one morning and discover that your high school class is running the country.”
– Kurt Vonnegut
We left Livejournal for Twitter in one big exodus. The Livejournal accounts still linger after all these years — unloved, forgotten, lost. Livejournal had a change of owners, and the owners showed hostility to the user base, so the users moved on.
So it goes.
I built pages on MySpace, Friendster, Orkut. Some social networking tool with a peach whose name I cannot remember. Reddit, Digg — remember Digg’s implosion? — Tumblr, Pinterest.
I used one that sent “Yo” to friends. That’s all it did. It was awesome for a week.
Twitter’s demise makes me particularly sad. I joined when Twitter was an SMS service. It sent weather and traffic updates to a flip phone. Back in the day when I listened to Podcasts on a white iPod with the dial.
The Twitter web interface was exciting! I could talk to everyone like one giant MUSH. I could follow economists and archeologists and other neat people.
Twitter’s super-power was flash-mobs around world events. Something was happening and we all tweeted about something happening. I loved big sports events. We were all there in the same room watching the same thing as something was happening and talking about it and yelling about it and it was great and horrible and what a rush.
Now, we will all move somewhere else. So it goes.
John Scalzi wrote we should move back to the Artisan web. I thought hey, not a terrible idea. This website predates Twitter and Livejournal — although it needs a new logo, as usual. And I pay for it. I should use it.
Where I’m leaning for now is “my own billionaire landlord-free website.” Meanwhile, I did join Mastodon. I’m @email@example.com. I’m also @multiplexer on Post.News.
I’m not turning down my twitter account. I’ll push posts from my blog up there. Why? It costs me nothing to keep it. Maybe Twitter will come back? But probably not. Looking at the litter of dead social media systems, it’s likely another body on the heap.
But I cannot be party to a billionaire having an extensive mid-life crisis, paying $44B to be the Internet’s main character, and making us watch in real time. Just… no.
Thanks for everything, Twitter.