Update: Surprise surprise, this didn't last! I'm back on Twitter and still can't stand it.
As with so much, but especially with this topic, the post below reflects only my opinions.
Others have written more comprehensively on the state of Twitter, how it’s a cesspool of yelling, mansplaining, race-baiting, filter-bubbling hate. I have little more to add, other than to say they’re all right, Twitter is just so much terrible, and I'm out.
It’s the little things that all tallied-up like poison “likes” (or is it “loves” the same way every brand co-opts “love”?). The profiles with statements like “I WAKE UP HAPPY EVERY DAY KNOWING THAT DEMS DON'T.” (Actual “about me” section!). Or my first time being told I was a miserable cuck who should’ve been incinerated in a concentration camp oven for criticizing a presidential candidate, only to have Twitter tell me it wasn’t hate. And then there’s the toxic, artificially-colored elephant in the room, spitting out an endless verbal pestilence 140 characters at-a-time that has the fun side effect of making the planet’s collective knees buckle with nuclear anxiety.
Why is Twitter this way? Who the hell knows anymore? Does it even matter? Free speech is actually "Free Speech," which means it still has limits and also that no private organization has to allow any speech they don’t like on their platforms. But they do out of some misplaced sense of righteousness, or naivete, or, more cynically, a knowledge that they need user eyeballs to assault with promoted posts and nothing’s more important than GROWTH, no matter if it’s healthy or just metastasis.
Or maybe, just maybe, no one thought it through, no one had the foresight to think that Twitter should be better than an all-day every-day release for our collective ids, to say “Hey, maybe we should regulate our digital lives with a modicum of the discipline we show in our physical lives. Supercuts doesn’t let you throw F-bombs at each other while you wait, let’s take a cue from Supercuts on this one.” Hell, at a cosmic level, this is all still just digital communication pre-pubescence, maybe adolescence will bring some semblance of sanity. (Wait, I remember adolescence, soooo maybe not.)
I used to love Twitter – microblogging in 140 characters? How fun! What a creative challenge! My first live-tweeting was a thrill – so many likes and mentions! And some organizations have used it to great effect, to help their businesses, to deliver breaking news, to stir grand revolution, to create the most-liked inspirational tweet of all time – all hip hooray! But my following is small, I’m not running a business, I don’t need to see breaking news tweets before they’re deleted and replaced with more accurate breaking news tweets.
At best, Twitter is trying to fix their hate problem and succeeding at the achingly slow pace set by many major American institutions. At worst, they don’t care, and I imagine the truth is a combination of it all – freedom of expression and the needs of a business forging new territory are hard to reconcile. In any event, it doesn’t particularly matter. There are other feeds fighting for my eyeshare and other sources of online toxicity to repel. Good riddance Twitter. You’ve been the worst.