The Twitter Experience

Twitter still feels like a part-time job

I have never been a big user of Twitter. I created an account very soon after Twitter first became a thing. But I quickly realized that using Twitter felt like I had taken on a part-time job.  With Twitter, I was not only going through life taking care of my actual responsibilities, but I now had to report out my personal status along the way.

No thanks.

Fast forward 15 years or so.  When Elon Musk bought Twitter, I decided to revisit that world to see how things had evolved.  The first thing I did was to wire my personal blog to my Twitter account so that my blog posts automatically showed up on Twitter.  I don't mind that kind of Twitter involvement because it is completely automated and doesn't place a reporting burden on me.

But I also decided to read my Twitter newsfeed so that I might have the full Twitter experience.  Here are some observations that don't have to apply to anyone else, of course, but I thought I would record my impressions as someone who has spent almost no time on Twitter before.

  1. Twitter is an unhappy place - contentious and dripping with negativity bias.
  2. The tweeting velocity combines with the character limits in ways that introduce a whiplash effect to the information flow.  You have to wonder if people with ADHD experience the world like a Twitter newsfeed.
  3. If you want to be the first-to-know something that is happening in the world, there's probably no better place. Citizen journalists were reporting out the attacks on the drone factory in Iran at least 24 hours before any commercial news agency uttered a peep.

Anyway, while I was using it for a few days, I kept having a sort of deja vu feeling, as if I had observed something before that was reminiscent of being a Twitter user. Last night it popped into my head what it was.  So here's my version of the Twitter experience.

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