I was fond of Twitter. I liked its sense of public forum, I liked its lack of ambiguity in knowing who’d see what when I posted. I liked reading Joyce Carol Oates’ snarky political comments & cat photos, I liked Jeff Vandermeer’s posts about the wildlife in his yard, I liked reading all the things the ADHD community posted to support each other (while meanwhile, I pondered about the fact that most of those posts seemed pretty relevant to me).
I liked its instant-verification of local earthquakes. I liked its brevity and semi-randomness. I liked its hashtags and cute animal photos and discussions about literary poetry and bad jokes. It was fun. Sometimes it was insightful.
And despite that, I’m done. I just deleted my account, leaving this as my final tweet:
And I’m off Twitter. The horrible Elon thing about requiring everybody to sign up for overwork is just the end. If you’re one of the small number of people I’m connected to here, well, I’m on LinkedIn, I’ve got a very retro blog, & you probably have my contact info. Peace.
(I’m curious how long account deletion will take, or whether it will work at all, given how many people have been fired and how many systems those people probably ran. I mean, maintenance and routine processes are a thing.)
I don’t imagine that one small account deletion will make a difference, but on some level I also just can’t be part of that crap. The idea that anything will get fixed or improved by pushing people harder, the idea that business innovation comes with clocking up the hours, the idea that people have to sign on and sign up for personal sacrifice with a near-cult level of dedication for what is fundamentally a job, where the basic equation is trade time + skillz for money – and that some kind of virtue signaling should attach to it! – that is just awful. That is the worst of Silicon Valley tech hustle culture. That is what creates terrible business models and technical & product debt and social isolation and every other terrible thing you can say about this industry.
And yes, I work in this industry. And yes, I think it can offer great things. But I also think it can offer a hell of a lot of stupidity, and this idiotic approach to things is a big part of how.
So I’m out. I kinda hope blogs take over. I kinda hope somebody else builds a less-awful social network. I would like community online. But whatever is going on at Twitter, that isn’t it.