Sixteen years. So many great memories. Great example of early co-design and what was possible if you listened to user feedback.
A deep, deep love for a marvellous and important product. There are some who may think it is ‘cringe’ – as the kids say today – to be sad. But it is okay to be sad when you have invested time, and emotions and have happy memories attached to something.
So many take tech for granted. They don’t see invisible labour, the tireless work to remove friction, the tape and glue that keeps servers up, the content moderators’ trauma, the vision that we all had for a product like Twitter.
I’ve been rough on tech bros lately, but that comes from a place of disappointment at having seen what was done to these platforms, and what they were supposed to be.
Maybe I was the gullible one for believing in it in the first place, but there was a window there where things were truly… incredible. Lifelong friendships. So many laughs. So many people who met husbands and wives and whose children grew up alongside each other and never got to meet, making us act like a weird aunty to a very confused kid who thinks “do I know you?”.
I’ve even been the main character – zero stars would not recommend – but still, marvellous for this Perth girl who never fit in anywhere and would have gone insane if not for other weirdos on the virtual watercooler that was Twitter.
Then, selfish people – first, media and ‘brand’ people (who Twitter was supposed to disrupt) staged a hostile takeover, thinking the Internet was theirs to gentrify and control, were then overtaken by the jerks who think the internet is theirs to wreck, and users for them to harass.
Twitter was a deep love that turned abusive, where I then convinced myself it could change, if I just kept trying. I even tried to work there so I could help fix things. I wrote a proposal on how to change the product and processes to solve the problems. That went as far as their support tickets: nowhere.
Sunk costs and habit. That’s what remains.
And the handful of people who are still on there that I don’t want to lose touch with, so I will not completely delete, and still copypasta (I still want it to get better, but not at my expense). But no more than 5 minutes a day.
𝕏 in 2024 is a reality-distorting, crazy-making, deeply unhealthy and abusive app. I won’t let Elon Musk drag me down with him in his descent into madness. Get some therapy, for heaven’s sake. He’s a grown man. It’s just …sad.
Anyway, it’s been a long road. I’m allowed to be sad over what happened to the crazy dream that was the bird app. It’s okay if you don’t get that. It represents a dream that was unrealised, in many ways. I invested a lot into it. I got celebrities on it early on. I evangelised it to everyone who would listen.
And it’s done. It may change, but I doubt it.
I suggest you do the same. If they’ve lost me, a Twitter addict who rationalises like a smackhead over it… they’ve literally lost everyone.