Why Twitter is not part of my New Normal

Better Twitter days

Twitter used to be my go-to service. There were times when I valued Twitter more than LinkedIn for building professional networks. I’m even published in earlier versions of John Lees‘ great book series How to Get a Job You’ll Love talking about how to use it for job searching. But since Elon Musk took over the service, it has lost its value to me. More so, I think it has become such a toxic environment that I have decided to shutter my account. Twitter will not be part of my New Normal.

Twitter hasn’t been “normal” for a while

Since the takeover, Twitter has become unreliable, as user experience and moderation have suffered from cuts. Some of those strike me as deliberate attempts to scupper representation from groups that had developed thriving Twitter communities, such as BIPOC and LGBTQ+ users (especially T).

Musk’s espoused “free speech absolutism” seems one-sided. The site invites back previously banned right-wing agitators and transphobes, while making it harder to curb their bullying and disinformation. The destruction of the verification system reduced the site’s value as a diverse source of news and relevant information.

My ideological qualms with the site aside, it is a lot less worthwhile as a professional engagement tool. So I have decided to invest my time elsewhere.

My Escape Plan

I held back for a while, hoping to see if this project of grinding down the site into the hellscape it has become would fail. But it hasn’t, so it’s time for me to move on. My escape plan is to preserve what I can of what I had on Twitter, while shuttering my account, but not closing it (yet). I’ll be around for maintenance and checking for unlikely improvements. I have not committed to an alternative platform, as maybe micro-blogging isn’t for me anymore.

  • I am finally moving all professional conversations about #edtech, #careers, #startups, #remoteworking, and #alumnirelations, etc. to my LinkedIn account.
  • I have started following individual voices I value (especially on LGBTQ+, BIPOC, and politics) on Instagram. This is not ideal since the cinematic Metaverse is as problematic as a Zack Snyder director’s cut. But the integration with Threads may still be an escape hatch I may want to use.
  • As I have always appreciated the simplicity and control that RSS feeds offer me, so I have ramped up the use of my Feedly account. I have much stronger control over the news sources while offering me search options beyond my immediate information bubble.

My Twitter account will be set to private while I further reduce my time on the site to a maintenance minimum. Twitter was problematic at its worst, but amazing at its best. X is just its worst, every day. No need to be sad about mothballing it.

January 1st, 2024 by