My career forces me to the bleeding edge of technology and trends as I look for opportunities to leverage everything I can get my hands on, but deep inside I will always favor the retro and outdated. I seem to be naturally pre-wired to root for underdogs, losers and people/places/things that are past their primes, with examples to follow:
- I grew up in Buffalo rooting for the Bills during their historic march to 4 straight Super Bowl losses
- I’ve always preferred BlackBerry to iPhone and Android
- I have a weird affinity for Nissan
- I like my Epiphone SJ200 more than my 10x more expensive (and infinitely better-sounding) Gibson J100
The list goes on and on.
Maybe that fondness for underdogs is why more than three quarters of the way through the year 2022, I created a Twitter account. Full disclosure: I didn’t just come up with the idea on my own. I was asked to do an interview recently, and one of the requirements was that I provide a Twitter account. I hadn’t been to twitter in at least 5 years, and upon trying to login with my old credentials, found that my account apparently no longer existed. I decided to go ahead and create a new one.
What Twitter Feels Like 5 Years Later
Once inside the beast, I found it to be an overwhelming experience compared to the last time I used the platform. I was being inundated with randomness without a shred of personalization, entirely devoid of even tangential interest to me.
I was forced to select topics that are most interesting to me while creating the account, and I chose some basic combination of marketing/business/technology. You would think those selections would help craft the content I would see, but there doesn’t appear to be a correlation. 24 hours in I’m currently seeing:
- NCAA Football (0 interest)
- Pro Wrestling (0 interest unless it’s a Vince McMahon meme – then my interest jumps to about 3/10)
- Arts & Culture (0 interest in Twitter’s definition, which appears to be manga and Soundcloud rappers)
I am just now starting to see a little bit of tech news creeping in, but not to the level you would expect when it was 33% of the interests I selected.
Tweeting Into The Void
I’ve also found that basically no one I know uses Twitter anymore. I have no family connections, and I haven’t yet found any of my “friends” who have Tweeted within the last 12 months. I have been able to find some past connections (that I don’t respect) who remain wildly active.
Without any real connections, it feels like playing an un-mic’d gig in front of an empty coffee shop – it’s somehow harder and more intimidating than taking the stage in front of a packed house. There’s no invested grandmother who appreciates everything you do, no fans, just emptiness.
So Why Am I Here?
Again, I kind of had to be here due to that interview requirement. Sure, I could just leave it empty and let it die, but something about the fact Americans are leaving Twitter makes me want to stay. Even if Americans are leaving, the user base is actually growing outside of the US.
I think the real reason I’m giving this a go is the fact I’m so disenchanted by the other social media options. While almost 3 billion “people” are engaging with Meta daily, Facebook is a hell-scape of Minion memes and geriatric arguments over millennials and younger generations who seem to have largely opted out1. Post to Instagram, and you run the risk of being hunted by Adam Levine. TikTok is ruining everything, and Justin Timberlake failed to bring sexy back to Myspace.
Maybe Twitter can become a comeback story of the ages, led by my tweets2 into the void.
Beyond all that, here’s think the biggest benefit to sticking around: I can finally see what’s happening on the amber alerts that link to Twitter for more details.
1Facebook is least popular with women aged 16-24, Hootsuite