Quitting Twitter wasn’t easy. Although I rejoined late last year, I found the conditions were the same as five years ago. Thankfully, Elon Musk gave me a reason to reconsider.
Inherently, Twitter was a tremendous social network hangout. Even though it killed the blogging star, it replaced it with convenient conversations. But over the years, things changed. I don’t remember where I read it first, but someone compared Reddit to a bar, and I couldn’t stop thinking about that analogy.
I liken Twitter to a favorite bar that hateful elements have taken over. Now, you may have found a dark, comfortable corner with your friends and can insulate yourself from the noise, but increasingly, you cannot help but notice all the chaos around you. Lecherous men are hounding women, making lewd gestures, and even people from other tables barging in on your conversations so that they can disrupt you.
You end up screaming at them, yelling at them to go away, and then hating yourself for acting like them. Over time, you see the bartender, and the owners watch silently as guys spike the drinks and, at times, even sexually assault women openly. You point it out to them and ask them to kick those people out, but they shrug their shoulders and say the women can always ask them to leave them alone.
Sadly, you see some of your friends from the lovely little corner you have also take a walk around the bar and do the same things you hate. Eventually, all you can talk about even in your little corner is how everything is worse off now, but you feel like you should at least talk that way lest you are considered apathetic.
Of course, you love hanging out at the bar despite all this unpleasantness because sometimes you learn something new from the table next to you. Sometimes you meet a passing stranger from out of town who gives you some great tips on life, finances, or how to take a good picture. But each night when you go home, you feel like you have to wash off the bar’s stench.
Then one day, you come to the bar and find out one of the richer louts who loved to shit-talk now owns the place. So now you can even forget about any improvements that earlier you had seen efforts of. The new owner is even thrashing his employees who dare to keep the lumpen elements in check. You hear talk of a particularly convicted rapist being allowed back in the bar after being banned earlier.
So now you have to decide whether you want to keep coming back to that bar because many people you know hang out there or ask some of them, hey, do you want to find a new place? Maybe a place that’s a bit quieter. Now that we are older, we can enjoy our whiskey in peace and talk about nerdy things like journaling and nature hikes.
Of course, not everyone wants to leave. So you walk off with some (or not) and find new people to hang out with. You hear about some incident at the bar and are tempted to peek in, but as you nurse your drink in the quaint little new bar, you realize you are content just being here and sleeping much better when you get home.
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