I did it, I finally left. I’m not happy about it, but it had to happen. (Actually, it happened some weeks ago.) So, what does it take to leave?
I’m talking about Twitter (oh, yeah, ‘X’ as in what’s been done to it ), by the way. I’d been on there a fair bit. Having tossed my account, I can’t see when my first tweet was, but at least since 2009. How do I know? Because that’s when I was recruited to help start #lrnchat, an early tweetchat that has still been going as recently as this past summer! I became an enthusiast and active participant.
And, let me be clear, it’s sad. I built friendships there with folks with long before I met them in person. And I learned so much, and got so much help. I like to tell the story about when I posted a query about some software, and got a response…from the guy who wrote it! For many years, it was a great resource, both personal and professional!
So, what happened? Make no mistake, it was the takeover by Elon Musk. Twitter went downhill from there, with hiccups but overall steadily. The removal of support, the politics, the stupid approaches to monetization, the bad actors, it all added up. Finally, I couldn’t take it any more. Vote with your feet. (And yes, I’m mindful of Jane Bozarth’s admonition: “worth every cent it cost you”. Yep, it was free, and that was unexpected and perhaps couldn’t be expected to last. However, I tolerated the ads, so there was a biz basis!)
Perhaps it’s like being an ex-smoker, but it riles me to see media still citing X posts in their articles. I want to yell “it’s dead, what you hear are no longer valid opinions”. I get that it’s hard, and lots of folks are still there, but… It had become, and I hear that it continues to be, an increasing swamp of bad information. Not a good source!
So where am I now? There isn’t yet an obvious solution. I’m trying out Mastodon and Bluesky. If you’re there, connect! I find the former to be more intimate. The latter is closer to twitter, but I’m not yet really seeing my ‘tribe’ there. I am posting these to both (I think). I’m finding LinkedIn to be more of an interaction location lately, as well, though it’s also become a bit spammy. #sideeffects? I keep Facebook for personal things, not biz, and I’m not on Instagram. I also won’t go on Threads or TikTok.
So, what does it take to leave? I guess when the focus turns from facilitating enlightening conversation at a reasonable exchange, to monetization and ego. When there’s interference in clean discourse, and opposition to benign facilitation. And, yes, I’m not naive enough to believe in total philanthropy (tho’ it happens), but there are levels that are tolerable and then there’s going to a ridiculous extreme. Wish I had $44B to lose! I know I’m not the only one wishing those who’ve earned riches would focus on libraries and other benevolent activities instead of ego-shots into space, but this is the world we’ve built. Here’s to positive change in alignment with how people really think, work, and learn.