So, Twitter is now called “X”. What a stupid idea. But what have we expected from a person with an amount of hybris that makes the antique Greek gods turn pale in comparison?
And it’s not just Twitter. It’s also Reddit. And Facebook. Basically all the 2010s social networks. All of them have turned to goo over the course of just a few months. And this does something to me.
I’m rarely the person to decry a forgotten past. But somehow the death of the social media I grew up with does make me sad.
It’s not the end of the world. With every ounce of stupor that Elon adds on top of the pile of poo he turned Twitter into, Mastodon is growing – piece by piece. Sure, it’s not the Twitter “experience”, but life is not a wishing well. I can still connect easily with people. I still have a network. Nothing of that is gone. The world continues almost as smooth as it did before.
It’s just a feeling of goodbye – now that Reddit has completely locked out everyone and everything without too much of a global outcry, Twitter has done so with a ton of outcry, and Facebook had this very long dying period.
It is only natural that older platforms have to go. Just as MySpace and geocities had to make space for Facebook and Twitter, now Twitter and Facebook voluntarily make space for more decentralized solutions and platforms.
I went online as these older platforms were already declining, so I didn’t form a connection to them. But to Twitter and Reddit I really got used to. And now that they’re gone, I can’t help but feel nostalgic for the good times.
They’re still large corporations for whom money counts more than people. Of course. But with those platforms, a ton of my convenience goes away. I was used to properly browsing those platforms, and now I have to learn to utilize different platforms. It’s like moving to another country: the basic rules of the game remain the same and I won’t get disconnected from my peers, but there are these tiny differences one has to get used to.
To be honest, I see the world moving past Twitter and Reddit just as fast as the world moved past Tom from MySpace: A quick period of mourning, and then on to the next thing.
For me, having grown up with this specific era of social media, it does make me feel a little sad, but let’s face it: It’s always going to go forward. History is not a static thing. It is, to use the famous words of Walter Benjamin, “a storm is blowing from Paradise”. And, further, “That which we call progress, is this storm.”
To the next iteration of social media. Goodbye, Twitter, you beat-down bird. Hello Mastodon, you resurrected beast.