Tim Brown

I sorta left Twitter

For many years, Twitter felt like an amazing place to share what I was doing, to meet new people, and to help spread positive energy and good ideas. I did all of that, and I loved it. But Twitter gradually became awful.

It came to my attention years ago that on Twitter, harassment goes unchecked. This began with GamerGate, reached its height with our disgraceful president’s continual presence, and by the time #DeactiDay rolled around I was already checked out. I regret actively using the service for as long as I did, because in retrospect it is very clear that Twitter never cared about the people who were being harassed. Along with these principled reasons for spending less time on Twitter, the company also changed its API, which meant that the app I liked best for using it (Tweetbot) lost some good features.

Twitter has severely disappointed me. I haven’t deactivated my accounts, but I don’t use them like I once did. I try to acknowledge people who mention me, and promote friends’ stuff if I see it, but I don’t intend to share my own ideas there for the foreseeable future. I may post occasionally to remind Twitter followers that I am active elsewhere.

I have moved over to Mastodon for now (@timbrown, @typesetting). But Mastodon also has its share of harassment issues, and currently lacks a Tweetbot-quality client. Going forward, I will try any new service that seems promising. I have also begun a Jeremy-Keith-style, hosting-and-syndicating of my own brief thoughts. This again has its drawbacks — I can’t easily post from iOS (my setup runs Jekyll), and I haven’t even tried to get any reply/follow anything going (if that’s even a possibility).

In summary, I’m using social media in a rather messy way these days, and using it a lot less. I miss it, but I’ve had enough of the world’s current offerings. I would pay a good chunk of money, monthly, for a solidly-designed social network built with the right priorities.