Yup, Done With the Former Twitter
Elon Musk, the most unfathomably insecure and pathetic billionaire the world has ever seen, has gone mask-off antisemite, and that means that while I had already reduced my participation on the former Twitter, now I’m off it entirely. I’m keeping the account so that no one can swoop in and take a screenname that’s been associated with me for the last fifteen years, but no more posting, and no more participation. Until and unless the service is sold to someone who isn’t Musk (and possibly even then, depending), I’m out, I’m through, I’m done.
Some quick notes:
1. If you are still on the former Twitter, this is not an implicit condemnation of you. Remember I was on it until today; I put up with a lot of Musk’s bullshit because the site still had value to me as a promotional vehicle. Others may still be on it because their communities are there or because they’re determined to outlast Musk or because it’s still an easy way to reach a mass audience, or whatever. That’s fine. It’s simply that for me, the point at which Musk’s toxicity overwhelmed any utility the site had for me was right around noon. I realized I just couldn’t shrug my way through it anymore.
Also, I’m not going to debate or argue the utility of staying on or leaving the former Twitter with anyone. This is a personal decision made for personal reasons that have to do with me and me alone. If you agree with the action, great. If you don’t, that’s fine too. If you want to give me guff for it, for whatever reason, you can go fuck yourself.
2. It does mean walking away from almost 200k followers there, but you know what, at this point I’m fine with that. I suspect a significant portion of those followers are no longer on the site (or were rarely on it) to begin with, and as for the others, at this point the chance they’re not also following me on Bluesky/Threads/Mastodon/Facebook/Instagram (or, uhhhhh, here) is pretty slim. I have thousands or tens of thousands of followers on each of those other social media sites (and here) anyway. I’m not hurting for my ability to get the word out about what I’m doing or thinking. And also, you know. When I put stuff out, I have a major publisher telling people about it. I’m not difficult to find, or to find out about. I’ll be fine.
3. Also, and vaguely related, the fact that I have tens of thousands of followers on each of Bluesky/Threads/Mastodon/Facebook makes the point that Twitter is not essential and is replaceable for the aspect of social media that revolves around self-promotion. The fact that friends are now elsewhere and I chat with them in those places also means it’s not essential and is replaceable for social interaction. For me, there’s nothing that Twitter does I can’t do elsewhere. This was always true, but it’s worth reminding myself about, and you might benefit from that reminder too.
4. Leaving the former Twitter is also at this point more than a little bit of a relief. I’ve noted above that I restricted my use of it recently to just career news and updates, but even doing that has become an increasing depressing and unpleasant chore, like having a storefront in a part of town where the windows are increasingly soaped up and the sidewalks are full of trash, and there are a bunch of Nazis on the corner, leering at cars driving by. It was no fun, in a place where I used to have fun. It was, finally, time to go. So I’ve gone.
If it’s stopped being fun for you, too, consider leaving as well. There are better places to be.