Saturday, November 5, 2022

The Twitterapocalypse: Whuck?

 I am so very frustrated and angry that Elon Musk is musking twitter.  I don't care about losing a hundred followers (even though I was just on a nice round number until this happened), but I do care about the loss of community, the loss of key vectors for getting information, the loss of important ways to, yes, market, the stuff that I do, and especially, the loss of a key way that the CDSN communicates.

It ain't gone yet, but twitter's future ain't bright.  I will stick around and hope that this is a phase or that the community of people can resist the bad stuff.  The thing about twitter and all social media is that the stuff that is most important are the users--they set the tone, they create the value, they make it worthwhile or not.  I stopped being a twitterevangelist years ago when I started to get that my experience was not the experience that women, LGBTQ+, African-Americans, and others from historically excluded communities were having.  I never got much grief on twitter--some, but not much.  One rape threat, I don't recall any death threats, and more than a few insults, but nothing that really affected my day to day experience.  So, I stopped pushing it quite so energetically.

But I still recommended that people join even if they don't post.  Twitter was and maybe still is a good way to find interesting research before it gets published and find out when such stuff is published and to get good takes on events as they occur.  The folks who are really sharp on Ukraine, for instance, have provided tons of insights on the war since it started.  As a curious person and as a scholar of International Relations, I have found twitter to be super useful for good (and bad) info.

As hinted above, it is terrific for networking.  I know far more people in the DC national security community, in the Canadian journalism scene, and more.  After I realized how mighty white my feed was, I made an effort to follow people of color in and beyond North America, in and outside of poli sci and IR.  It is just so cheap (free except for the selling of my information by twitter) to meet and learn from all kinds of folks.  It can be a time suck, but I found it incredibly rewarding.  

What now?  Well, my first step was to find out that I already had a long comatose Mastodon account: or  I haven't figured out Mastodon yet... and you can tell as I currently have more followers than posts.  That probably won't last.  It seems decent, but the federated nature--that there are different "instances" of Mastodon on different servers, which makes connecting a bit tricky--is a challenge.  The servers can be slow, but posting pics is getting faster all the time, and I needs to meme.  Oh, and I realized that I mispelled my preferred name for social media (smsaideman) and am now stuck with smaideman, which is growing on me.

I may try other alternatives, but, of course, this will mean yet more time sucks as I monitor and participate in twitter, mastodon, and whatever else.  Hmmm.  Can there be too many social media outlets?  Well, yeah.  Because if the communities that I have enjoyed get fragmented, I really don't want to do the work to make sure I get what I used to get on twitter.  But my biggest neurosis is FOMO, so I expect to be trying more than a few alternatives.

Anyhow, just posting here as this will always be where I post my half-baked thoughts that are more than 140 or 280 or 500 characters.  

Good luck in the confusing days ahead! 

and yes, I will continue to rely on the same
set of memes while generating new ones from
time to time.


1 comment:

hannah said...

Yes - I feel a real sense of grief for losing the community of people I've met on Twitter, even if the loss isn't in effect yet. Mastodon seems like it can be a fun place to operate, but it will take time to replicate what we had, and perhaps we never can fully.