I joined Twitter in May 2007, as user #6,060,732. Over ten years later, after not quite twenty thousand tweets, it’s time to go. It started out as something so simple – What are you doing? Over SMS no less! – and grew into a platform for global conversation.
Unfortunately, it also grew into a toxic hellscape, fostering abuse by anonymous trolls, enabling the rise of neo-facism and political manipulation by foreign powers, and promoting an ever-shorter attention span as people vie for likes with the most clever hot take instead of thoughtful analysis. It has become apparent that the leadership at Twitter is either actively in league with factions I would consider treasonous to western civilization, or too naive to understand the cliff towards which their platform is relentlessly driving us. I want no part of this.
On a more personal level, my timeline feels like an endless steam of anxiety, anger, and sadness, interspersed with occasional joy, laughter, and friendship; but the former far outweighs the latter. It makes me feel bad. I’ve tried a lot of things to improve things for myself over the years: judicious mutes and blocks, disabling retweets, cultivating lists, and temporary leaves-of-absence; but it seems to just continue to get worse. Third-party clients like Tweetbot gave me enough control to keep my sanity – mostly – but Twitter has effectively cut them off now.
So I’m done. It’s been a long time coming. I don’t want anyone else to obtain my identity, so I will not be deleting my account. I have exported all my tweets, and intend to replace them here on my own site. But I have deleted them from Twitter. I apologize for any broken links, but I cannot in good conscious leave my writing on that platform. If, someday in the future, Twitter rights the ship, maybe I’ll be back. But for now, farewell.