Ah, Twitter. Before you die, I wanted to have a chat with you.
For those unfamiliar, twitter is a microblogging social media platform, where its users can share their thoughts in under 140 (now 280) (now-now infinite if a paying member) characters or less. Over the years, twitter has seen many world events live-tweeted on it’s platform, never forget the times users asked terrorist organization, ISIS, who their evangelion waifu was.
Twitter garnered popularity for many people all over the world using the platform for various reasons, but overall, had gained a reputation for being a good source of updates/news. I remember reading a post on twitter, years ago, joking about the steps you should take in case of an earthquake, by a user in Japan. The steps were as follows:
Get under a table
The joke pokes fun at the fact that twitter has a massive Japanese user base (Likely due to the 140 character limit being less of an issue with japanese, due to the language and it’s writing system) and the fact that many people in Japan get earthquake updates by following various earthquake update accounts, a popular one being N.E.R.V., named after the fictional organization in Evangelion of course.
It always comes back to evangelion, huh?
I joined twitter sometime in late 2012, after reading and article on tofugu about using twitter to learn japanese. I followed a bunch of japanese accounts, smosh, and some other youtubers I was fond of, linked the account to my lang-8 (a language exchange website, now defunct), tweeted a few times (in japanese), then abandoned the account. I browsed it all on an iMac G3 at the time, by the way.
A few months later, I made a new twitter account, the one I currently use (as much as I can still use it, in the state twitter has now been left in), and the rest is history. I could talk about everything that happened on twitter, in terms of twitter trends and their relations to world events, but I’d rather take the time to reflect on my own experience.
While 80% of my tweets are ignored by the world, the remaining 20% sees a few viral tweets, jokes responded to well by my friends, and conversation threads between me and strangers around the world, who then became people I mutually followed and have enjoyed seeing updates about their lives over the years, I made some of my first online friends on twitter.
In the early 2010s, you could find me occupying the moe-shit anime side of twitter, talking with people who had kiniro mosaic profile pictures. Twitter became the place for me to update about thoughts I had about games, anime, pop culture, and the like. Tweeting into the void, hoping it would resonate with someone, and sometimes, it did. I really will miss all the people I’ve mutually followed over the years, and only interacted with on twitter.
Now, to the present. In the last five years, or so, my friends have consistently used twitter, making the experience a lot less lonely and way more fun, now how will I see my friends’ threads on comics they’re reading, their sketches? I guess I’ll have to actually talk to them about it…
Twitter started to go downhill a few years prior to Elon Musk’s acquirement of the platform, but of course, it has never been more dead than it is now, after the 600 tweet a day rate limit (6000 if you pay). My timeline has maybe 50 tweets a day now, compared to the probably 3000+ it was before (most are my friends retweeting art and Hideo Kojima retweeting things). I can refresh for the first time in 6 hours, and see no new tweets, it’s a wasteland. I talked more about it in my previous article, LINK, and what is going on. There have been more recent developments, which I’ll talk about in my next article. I’m not a journalist, but this situation interests me immensely.
Anyways, I wish a WARM farewell to my old best friend, twitter. Fond memories of being able to tweet from the pull down dashboard (is that what it was called?) on ios 6. The people I met, the things I learned, they have genuinely shaped me as a person, my interests, and my fields of knowledge. There’s a good chance I wouldn’t be interested in writing about events like this, if it weren’t for twitter. I look forward to see what comes next, but saying goodbye to an era is always hard, the unknown is horrifying, what is familiar is comfortable, but I suppose it’s time for us to move on. See you, twitter.