I’ve deactivated my twitter account.
I loved twitter, signed up in December 2006, and would be considered a high usage person (or a “saddo”).
Twitter has given me extraordinary experiences that could have only come about because of twitter – most recently, the current gig literally came about because I had a gap and posted on twitter “I need work!”. More on that as I can talk about it.
It was twitter I leaned on when my son was going through periods of anxiety and things were tough, and got to chat to Count Arthur Strong (from the self titled tv show- and extraordinarily funny show) , who sent me some CDs of his radio show to cheer him up, and I sent some comics to him in exchange. (he’s a comic reader!)
I spent a day hanging out with Jonathan Ross, because he saw my tweets about Clip Studio and wanted to learn how to use it.
And I’ve had thousands of small interactions with people I consider heroes that have brightened my day and just generally made my life richer, and even more with people I never knew but who’ve since become friends – I only did a podcast because I asked on twitter if anyone was interested in doing a podcast with me… that was over a decade ago and we had some fun doing that.
Of course it’s not all been amazing. I’ve found myself at the sharp end of a couple of pile ons (I quickly learnt, if you’re gonna reply to a high profile twitter user about politics, do so while wearing a very strong flame retardant suit – and turn off replies, and make your profile private)
And my own use of twitter has frequently adopted doom scrolling as my morning, deeply unhealthy routine.
The rot, for me, really set in pre-Trump, when it was obvious that outrage was becoming the currency, in an attention based world the one furious man is king.
But as long as you steered clear of that world, and avoided using words that could be triggers you could still have a pretty decent time, but it was hard to ignore the fact that the floorboards were starting to rot and moving to a different room in the party was only going to be a short term solution.
Musk’s purchase of twitter is going to be transformational, he likes the stuff about twitter that I consider its flaws and while Jack Dorsey and twitter’s previous owners were also not without their problems, Musk ownership and direction he’s steering the ship in are not something I find myself able to ignore.
So in the spirit of the best way to deal with a narcissist is to not deal with them at all, I’ve deactivate my twitter account. It was coming anyway, this has just been the final nail for me. I’ve watched friends disengage more and more with the platform as the far right successfully hijack language and weaponise kindness and consideration.
So, I will always be available here (or via email pjholden at-symbol gmail.com ) or I’ll be sending out an irregular newsletter via https://www.tinyletter.com/pjholden and while I’m on mastodon (@firstname.lastname@example.org) and hive (@pauljholden – no idea how to link to it, sorry!) and instagram (@pauljasonholden) it’s likely my taste for social media has soured.
On the plus side it’s given me more time to read books, but I do miss everyone… well, maybe not everyone…
(btw if this turns up on twitter, it’ll be because even if I’ve deactivated my twitter account it *might* reactivate to publish this… we’ll see…)