When I first joined twitter in 2008, it was a fun way to socialize with people from all over the globe. Twitter was gaining popularity within the open source telecom world and many of us would share posts, opinions, photos, whatever. The length of the tweet was perfect for sharing short thoughts and back then, there weren’t a ton of people on the platform.

Twitter was fun, friendly, simple, and an easy way to connect to others […]

Twitter [isn’t] fun anymore. People [aren’t] friendly.

—Fred Posner, “I have left Twitter”.

I have been using Twitter on and off for the past decade. I have had my prior alias squatted. I have blocked and been blocked because of severe differences in opinion.

I’ve tried to use Twitter as an alternative to comment on videos, after discarding my Google account. I’ve found I’ve gotten better engagement with “creators” that way, without all the spam that’s been hitting YouTube lately.

I’ve never faced the harassment many other people did, being a transsexual man myself, because I’ve learned to mute and block plenty of words, hashtags, and profiles I did not care for from the early days of social media, when I was trolled and harassed way back then. I would mute terms and hashtags like “midterms” and “election” to keep my anxiety at bay these past few months when the Red Wavewhich ended up more like the Red Ripple—was thought to be a big threat.

I’ve blocked more than enough terms related to the spammy concepts of “crypto”, NFTs, and all those $-whatever’s that also seem to trend on Twitter. And because the new founder Elon is a “crypto-bro” himself, of course the spam involving crypto—despite all the shit going on with it, the bros insist on HODL despite the fact it’s not holding its value long-term like traditional investments and dividends—on the Explore tab has gotten worse.

(I have a decent idea of how blockchain technology works, and think there can be many other great uses for them. I just don’t care for “crypto culture”; too many pump-and-dumps schemes and the personalities of those involved just make me think cryptocurrency is nothing more than a Ponzi scheme. And NFTs are just a scam, creating artificial scarcity when there really isn’t any.)

However … Twitter is no longer fun. It has just become all spam, trolling, “hot takes”. Users who once banned for bigotry may soon come back. Again, while I’ve blocked users whose tweets I don’t want to see, and muted terms that can leave me in a heightened state of anxiety or mixed depression, I just don’t want to remain on a social media platform that’s okay with doom-scrolling.

So I deleted my account yesterday (but saved the username), late in the afternoon. I’m right now not jumping on board with the exodus to Mastadon, because I don’t want to join one more server or service where my content is ultimately owned by someone else. Because as a “fediverse”, I’m trying to understand its foundation and code structure, so I can host my content myself, but still be able to follow and interact with other users on other servers.

There are other “hot” and “trending” social media platforms making the rounds trying not just to uproot Twitter but also Instagram, but right now not one of them is really sticking out in comparison to others. I’m keeping my Instagram account alive because I’ve curated a newsfeed and explore page of images and videos that are empowering, calming, inspiring, beneficial; instead inducing anxiety, causing depression, and triggering dread.

I hope the concept of the fediverse takes off; that it returns us to older days of the Internet, where while we may have been on Tumblr, Xanga, and LiveJournal, we were still able to converse with each other. Everybody hosts something somewhere, but we all had something that was still somehow connected to help us discover each other’s content, follow each other, and converse without so much spam and trolls. (My blog is self-hosted but connects to the WordPress community, as perhaps the most common example.)

Or, instead of mass social media, we might move more and more into messaging and chat services like Discord, or start creating specialized social media, like what BuddyPress , bbPress, or like how some implementations of Mastadon get implemented —software that’s easy to deploy with a couple of clicks, without the need to know software or coding.

Maybe freeing myself from the clutches of Twitter will free up my spare time to develop more content for this blog—I haven’t written much for the past couple of months, when I would shitpost incessantly on Twitter. I can delve deeper into the thoughts occupying my mind and better articulate my material, while visiting others’ blogs and reading their curated material.

Maybe the hellstorm Elon is bringing might just be the fire we need to burn all this bullshit to the ground, so we can start all over—and hopefully with something better.

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