Twitter used to be fun. When I first joined the site in 2009, it was for a school assignment. I don’t even remember what it was, but behold, my first tweet:
RT @sallyfalkow: Technology journals predict social media will be the No. 1 business networking tool in the next few years.— Brittany Rubinstein (@BrittRubinstein) September 28, 2009
Over the past decade I’ve gone back and forth between using it as a networking tool and an endless stream of consciousness for my snarky world observations. I once got a job interview simply by tweeting at a company. In 2013, I got involved in a weekly tech chat where I met fellow bloggers and we traded marketing and personal branding tips. After that fizzled out, I’d occasionally tweet about technology, but mostly found enjoyment in live tweeting award shows and playing hashtag games.
The platform has evolved too. And maybe not for the better. As the user base grew and the political climate escalated, the fun light-hearted content that I came for became buried in misinformation, trolls, and just general despair. And with everything that’s happening in the world right now, it’s hard to separate fact from fiction; which adds an entire other level of distress to the information overload I’m already experiencing. These days, tweeting about anything other than social justice or #TheResistance seems tone deaf and self-serving. Twitter has been my primary source of news for several years now, but now as the news becomes increasingly depressing, finding any bit of joy on the platform is impossible without running into a few rage-inducing tweets first. By the time you get there, you’ve already been sucked down three different rabbit holes of alt-right conspiracy theories. (And trust me that shit gets dark). An average day on Twitter, goes a little something
And yet, I can’t quit. I tried deleting the app from my phone once and it only took a few hours before I just went straight to the mobile web version.
So why am I still there? Maybe it’s an addiction, a bad case of FOMO, a hope that it will one day return to its former glory of memes and wannabe comedians. I guess in some twisted way it brings me comfort to feel connected to so many people, even strangers, that are going through the same shit I am; that are interested in the same things I am. Particularly in the middle of a pandemic where it’s harder to make those connections in person. Whatever it is, I don’t think I’m going anywhere any time soon. At least, until the next trend comes along. (Has anyone tried getting news on TikTok?)
Until then, I’ll be here waiting: @brittrubinstein