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I miss Twitter

I'm still sad about Twitter.

I think what has emerged for me since switching to Mastodon is an altogether healthier relationship with social media. I'm not checking it constantly and I'm not obsessing over how my tweets are doing. I can post things without worrying that idiots have saved searches for key words/names and are going to come and shit all over the replies.

And it feels pathetic to be mourning the loss of a social media site. We know social media is Bad and the algorithm is Bad and it's all just late stage capitalism Bad Bad Bad. And there are plenty of people on Mastodon celebrating its demise.

But I miss it. I miss the vibes of tech Twitter, I miss the community feel that I just haven't felt on Mastodon in the same way. I'm worried that not having a Twitter presence is going to affect my speaking career and mean I don't get as many conference invitations. I'm angry that one billionaire man-child was able to take this community away from us.

There are still quite a few people sticking around Twitter as it clings on for dear life but I just can't bring myself to go back to a site that's unbanned some really high-profile transphobes, bigots, misogynists and racists. And a literal human trafficker, it turns out.

Mastodon is fine I guess

While it's been a generally positive experience so far, IMO Mastodon isn't quite the paradise that people have made it out to be: as a platform (decentralised though it may be) that was relatively tiny for a long time before suddenly blowing up recently, I've encountered some users on there who resent that and think that if you're new, you shouldn't have an opinion. In a way I get it: Twitter's demise was the start of Mastodon's Eternal September. But let's not kid ourselves: Mastodon still has mansplainers, it has racists, it has arseholes. It's just harder for them to find your posts.

I saw one post about how people should put politics-related content under content warnings (CWs), and when I disagreed (because politics is people's lived experience) the author told me that I'd only had my account a few weeks and that I should listen to the people who had been there for years. And that anything about Black people being silenced/experiencing racism on Mastodon had been "proven to not be true". They provided no evidence to back this up - I know, I'm as shocked as you are.

Notably, in the two months I've been on Mastodon my feed has remained predominantly male and white, despite trying to diversify my follows. A lot of people I followed initially have returned to Twitter as their other communities (e.g. Black Twitter, trans Twitter) have remained there.

Shouting into the void

I miss the reach I used to have on Twitter. Talking about issues I cared about, like semantic HTML and mental health, and knowing that lots of people would see it (even if generally I got more engagement on the shitposts).

Glad as I am that the personal website is having a renaissance – you know how much I love personal websites – for me that fulfils a different function from sites like Twitter. This site is my own space on the internet, but it's me shouting into the void in a way that Twitter wasn't.

Mostly I'm just sad that we lost the community that we had. And I hope we can rebuild it somehow.


  1. meduz' meduz'
    @andy Interesting perspective. As someone on the other side of the “web popularity” spectrum, I wished more persons would move to Mastodon (and evangelize about it) earlier to mitigate the fall of Twitter.For me it’s less about the community feeling, and more about being efficient at doing my web tech watch and collecting opinions. Hopefully some of the key people driving web dev are here now, and there are RSS and search engines, too.
  2. @andy I hear this. But it's pining for the Twitter that once was. Not the Twitter that is now or has been for a long time.