Published: 2023-02-04 12:00 |
Category: Life | Tags: twitter, social media, health, community
My time on Twitter has come to an end. It's been 12 years since I joined and this is - honestly - a sad decision for me.
When I created my account in 2011, I was still a new teacher and Twitter gave me connections to a vast network of other teachers I could learn from. These connections led me to at least one job and plenty of other opportunities to travel, meet people, and grow. Over time, and particularly in the last year, my use declined and I hesitated to recommend creating an account when people asked me how to connect with othes.
Over time, I felt frustrated with the shift away from genuine discussion toward posturing. It seemed like everyone had a position to defend and discussions weren't really possible. Tweets were on brand and written for the audience even when they were directed toward an individual. Reactions felt like the goal.
"EduTwitter" is a subculture of Global Twitter. I stayed around becuase it felt like much of the toxicity of the mainline themes stayed out of education. That's been changing. A few years ago, I stopped participating in formal EduTwitter. I would use the related hashtags if I needed some help, but what used to be a vibrant place had gone more and more quiet. I've stayed on because of the individual connections I'd made. Individuals always make the difference.
I was pretty indifferent to Elon Musk buying Twitter. I wasn't thrilled, but I didn't think it would get as bad - as fast - as it has.
Twitter is a private corporation run by an individual. There is no accountability and there is no indication that the single individual running the space cares for the people. When Twitter was a public entity, there were checks and balances in place to try and take care of the worst of the issues. Was it perfect? Of course not. But those checks existed.
The concern for the user - even if it was a facade of concern - has disappeared. The way in which the organization functions is chaotic and does more harm for people on the platform than good. Maybe it's always done harm, but the harms are more evident and consistent.
Since I have over a decade of my username spread across the Internet, I've decided to keep it active, but inert. That allows me to keep some kind of ownership over the name.
I added a pinned tweet with how to stay in touch then changed my password by mashing my keyboard. I could recover it if I ever needed to, but I'm not expecting to want to come back any time soon.
If you're from Twitter reading this, you can email me at email@example.com or find me on Mastodon at @firstname.lastname@example.org.