Letter about Twitter

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18 December, 2022

People who know me, know that Twitter has been my primary social media platform for years now. I've loved what the site has been, a perfect blend of being able to catch up with friends, other cool people and brands, and also a convenient way to keep on top of news and what people are talking about.

I've met so many cool and talented people, and learned so many cool and life-changing things. No matter how niche a topic was, someone was on here tweeting about it. And the moment something newsworthy happened, Twitter was always the first place I turned to, to see in real time how the Internet was reacting.

No other site was like Twitter. And no other site will ever be quite like Twitter, no matter how much I'll want that. (Maybe others don't lol!) At its core, Twitter is still the same. The same features are still here. But even before the recent policy changes, Twitter has started to take on a different vibe than before. It wasn't as fun for me to be here anymore.

It's very clear what change to Twitter precipitated everything I'm seeing and feeling today: the change in ownership. Unlike many of the people around me, I've had a pretty neutral opinion of Elon Musk prior to him taking over the website, but what we've seen and heard in the weeks/months following that has definitely colored my perception. It certainly seems like Twitter is now being run by ever-changing whims of one person, rather than by an organized business. And for 4 years, we've already seen how something run by the whims of a single individual has gone.

After the big layoffs at Twitter a few months ago, that was when we first had concerns about needing to jump ship, and so I prepared myself. And with recent events, now seems the perfect time to execute on my thoughts about which sites on the Internet I spend time on and where I should direct more of my time.

I'm planning on making my website my central hub for all the various things and presences I have online. Right now, this includes various software projects I've made over the years, but I'll be planning to add other things too as I branch out to other types of projects.

Like I said, I've met some cool people here, and I'm hopeful that I can find many of you on other locations on the Internet. Anyone out there, mutuals or not, should take a look at my website to learn more about me and perhaps learn about a couple other fun Internet things/places too. I'll link it below. If I don't see you elsewhere on the Internet, then just know that I'll miss you a lot. And everyone, I hope you have a good series of days and weeks going forward. I know I'm pretty bad at initiating conversation, but I care about you and you are important and loved.

For now, I'll keep my main Twitter account around, but you might start to see me on it less. To be honest, I don't think we'll all wake up one day with Twitter suddenly being gone, but I think the Twitter at the end of 2023 will be significantly different than the Twitter we had 6 months ago. Heck, it's already fairly different. I worry what the next year will bring to it.

Thanks for taking the time to read this all! :)

2 months later

19 February, 2023

Hello! This is an update to the above letter that I wrote 2 months ago, where I reflected on my time with Twitter and wanting to rethink what social media I used.

The reason for me posting this update is two-fold: reflecting on the past 2 months and thinking about the future.

Since I've made that post, I've definitely taken to Mastodon and it's been great. I've found people that I've previously followed on Twitter and was very glad to see again, and I've very much enjoyed the vibe and community I've found there. It's been my main social media now.

But there's still topics and communities that are wholly not present on Mastodon, as far as I can find. Things I'm a fan of, YouTubers and brands I like, a lot of these don't have any representation there. So to partake in these fandoms, I have to go to Twitter still.

I've also started consuming from Instagram a bit more, which has also been nice because a lot of my IRL friends are there.

So it's now become this awkward thing where I'm checking 3 social media sites a day, each giving me a little something the others don't have.

I won't delve into the management and policy changes that have occurred in the past 2 months, but suffice to say I'm still not liking the direction Twitter is going. But given what I just said, I'm still maintaining some form of presence there (on Twitter) for now. Going forward, I'll still occasionally post to Twitter as I have been doing, but you'll hear from me less frequently here than you do on Mastodon. I'd love to see more people I follow on Twitter move over to Mastodon, but I'll still pop in over here from time to time.

My programming account, JaykeBirdCoding, will be only used for announcements from here on (I might change the username soon, actually). Programming/tech rambles and progress updates will be posted on my dotnet.social account from now on.

I'm not liking the new direction of Twitter, but thus far the pros of staying there have outweighed the cons of abandoning this site. In the future, the scales may tip more towards me leaving, and I currently don't see a chance of the scales tipping back the other way.

I'm not trying to be dramatic by making this update, and I probably won't make any more of these update posts unless something really major happens. But 2 months seemed like a good amount of time to reflect on this and confirm I did indeed make decisions I've ended up liking.

Thank you for reading!

Learn more about me / find me on the Internet

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