Twitter Sweet Symphony
a eulogy for digital spaces
You’d think by now we’d all know how to mourn the death of a platform. We’re not here to timeline Elon Musk joking about buying Twitter, making an offer, rescinding the deal, and eventually being forced to buy the platform for way more than it’s worth. It’s well documented. But the chaotic acquisition and mass layoffs have started an all too familiar social media spiral.
Twitter was already struggling with profitability, on top of the countless other issues like massive misinformation campaigns and the proliferation of hate speech on its platform. But Musk’s take over of Twitter makes about as much sense as having the worst meal of your life and buying the restaurant. As upset as people might be, it’s equally foolish to think as users that we’d have a say in the fate of any social platform. We just make them money and help them mine data. Our happiness is meaningless to them.
Our entire company exists online and we’ve watched this happen before. Originally we started as a Tumblr, which is where we went viral before creating our own website. And thank fuck we did. Yahoo eventually acquired Tumblr and immediately banned adult content on the app where nudity was a sizable chunk of the content. This led to a mass exodus from the platform which wasn’t any fun to be on after. It went from an app we were on for hours a day, a place where we got our first shot, that got us a book deal, to a place that just didn’t exist anymore. It felt sad but also silly to mourn a place that had no physical presence. Twitter has been that place for millions of people. Its platform has launched hundreds of television shows, thousands of book deals, and so many other creative projects. People have whole careers because they were entertaining on Twitter. And now the platform that jump started so many careers is starting to falter.
Some user fall off is expected anytime there’s new ownership or guidelines. Platforms struggle with user retention on good days. But we tip our fedora to Elon, Twitter usage has increased 20% since his hasty takeover but probably for the same reason cars slow down to look at wrecks. It might be a deathrattle, but Twitter has been extra hilarious lately.
Twitter won’t completely die. It will always be around, in the same way you can still go to MySpace, Tumblr, and Facebook. But its best days are behind it. It won’t feel the same. Without a weird, wonderful creative community these apps are nothing. People make all the content that’s worth interacting with whether that’s on Tumblr, Snapchat, Instagram, or Facebook. When that shit isn’t funny anymore, when the real creative people leave, these apps just feel like deserted message boards populated by ad bots. There’s no there there, ya know? The FCC is actively trying to ban Tik Tok, is that next digital death to mourn? Will social media just devolve to the point we’re all just posting nudes sponsored by Postmates or Pepsi? Consider this a reminder to never leave your fate or talent in the hands of one app because these gateways to the internet are as ephemeral as youth or happiness. Trust us, our origin app has been dead and buried for awhile and we miss it everyday.
Whatever happens, we’ll see y’all out there. And just a reminder that our corner of the internet remains free and we appreciate your support in whatever way you wanna give it.
Now close all your apps and go cook a warm meal.
Tomorrow our paying subscribers will get a new instant holiday classic, Buffalo Winter Mac with Sweet Potatoes and Creamy Dill Sauce. Want fresh recipes delivered to your inbox every Sunday? Sign the hell up.
M & M