When I joined Twitter 14 years ago, I wasn’t a web developer yet. I was still working in HR, interested in tech, and exploring social media after blogging for a few years.
Twitter appears to be in death throes right now, and I can honestly say I’m going to miss it quite a bit.
I don’t normally get too attached to social networks. Twitter was far from perfect, but it was good enough.
It made it really easy to connect with folks from around the world and have semi-asynchronous conversations in a way that self-hosted blog posts or real-time chat like Slack or Discord do not.
I grew up in a mostly-white, suburban part of the Northeast. Twitter helped me get perspectives from lots of people who don’t look like me and who have very different life experiences.
Twitter is why I’ve been able to avoid getting COVID when most of the people around me have moved on, letting me hear directly from immunologists and infectious disease experts instead of failed public health officials. Twitter is what helped me stay connected even as the world seemed to shrink at the height of the pandemic.
Twitter is what gave me a professional voice, saw me through my transition to a web developer, and helped me realize that you can be professional and a whole person. It’s also what helped me realize “professionalism” in the traditional sense if overrated.
I’m not sure. I’m on Mastodon, but I’m not sure it’s a good replacement for what Twitter was. There’s a higher barrier to entry for folks. Finding others outside of your server is harder.
Twitter was a weird place where I could run into lots of ideas from lots of people.
it was perfect, but it was good enough. I’m not sure there will ever be another social network like it.