Tom Hoffarth / FartherOffTheWall.com
We’ll try to keep this short and non-Tweet.
This whole Twitter thing — it was what it was. And now, for us, it isn’t.
Coaxed into the virtual party year ago, engaging on-and-off-and-on because of the enjoyably toxic exchange of ideas, opinions, observations and usable information. Driven out by, who really knows why.
But for better or not-so-worse, and few regrets, we’re dropping the mike.
We can’t say it has nothing to do with all the recent news of its ownership change, employee layoffs, workers distress, policy ideas floated, or the welcoming back of at least one major proponent of abusive-minded posts that push Freedom of Speech to absurd limits. But that’s only an ugly slice of it.
(And by the way: Our deepest respect continues for Dan LeBatard, as he continuously calls out those who allow “dangerous rhetoric” to take place, has an effective continual proper use of the phrase “orange, racist turd,” and eventually has come, like us, to the sad conclusion that he can’t honestly advise anyone thinking of getting into journalism after the way the industry has allowed to be “trashed … How can I advise anybody to choose that as a career path when it feels so unsafe?”)
And there we lazily go, using another Tweet to illustrate a point.
When you’re handed a loaded social-media weapon of mass distraction, not always having the discipline to fire without being ready or aiming correctly at nothing in particular, you hope you learn things about your own self. We did.
We have no memorable exchanges in our Twitter chronicles. We doubt we will even take any steps to save whatever we posted. It was there for the moment captured somewhere perhaps in someone’s archives like any conversation you would have with a person. We will remember the best parts and try to learn from the worst all while not getting consumed with trying to save everything we’ve ever sat or posted.
Maybe we pulled an Irish goodbye. We didn’t announce “so long” to anyone. We just left the party as quietly and cautiously as we entered it years ago.
We had our reservations about it before we even joined in, finally coaxed in by a colleague who thought “you’d be really good at this.” Quick, witty opinions. Networking. Linking to stories that carried some weight and otherwise might be missed.
We had already seen some of our friends leave in the past few weeks. One said he was tired of getting a new wave of threats from a community of random followers. Another said the platform just felt like an abusive ex-spouse.
We enjoyed posting things like the view of a sunset from our front porch, date and time stamping it. It would draw a few likes or retweets, but even those became fewer and fewer.
If the simple things you’re trying to share aren’t being accepted, and the quality of the platform continues to crumble, you can either ride it out to an ugly finish, cursing and screaming about it, or politely exit, stage whatever, and embrace exchange services that are more aligned with what you’re trying to accomplish.
Like LinkedIn. Solid, reliable, a place with a purpose.
We recently read (and shared) this piece from The Atlantic — “The Age of Social Media is Ending” — that seemed to explain best to us how and why some got here and there in the first place. It was very complimentary of the LinkedIn mission statement and how it was still staying in that lane of engagement.
We’re all in, the more we use it.
It’s been a couple days now and we’re remembering the line from the movie “Office Space,” where the hired consultants talk to the employee in an interview:
“We hear you’d been missing working lately.”
“Well, I wouldn’t say I’m missing it,” he replies.
We don’t really miss Twitter. The addictive, dopamine nature of it – finding something new to stimulate the brain every three seconds, generating a response, thinking through it before posting, then ultimately deciding whether it may or may not provide some entertainment and information to someone else – actually is a nice thing to avoid.
We’re just in another career-related makeover, and we don’t need anchors around our ankles moving forward. And, in the end, as we pulled the plug last week, Twitter felt just that way.
In the end, our Twitter bio just said two simple words – “Yesterday’s news” – because that’s how we’ve felt about things.
And that has changed.
We’re in the present, moving forward. Twitter is yesterday’s news.