Twitter is Dead, Long Live IRL: Are we all tired of the Internet?

When the pandemic hit and everything shut down in March 2020, people turned to the Internet for news, entertainment, and contact with other human beings. In my little corner of the Internet, I saw the impact first hand. 

Traffic jumped on my blog and newsletter with daily gossip about virus spread and home cooking projects. My weekend hobby – a tiny vintage book shop on Etsy — sold so many books for Zoom backgrounds that I had to pay taxes and set up an LLC. On Twitter, I swapped gossip with fellow education reporters and found new allies with the school shutdown haters.

But that’s all died down, even before Elon Musk broke Twitter. For the past year, I’ve seen less traffic on my various sites, fewer books sold, and fewer links clicked. My Facebook page is mostly just two or three friends who still faithfully post birthday and anniversary pictures. Instagram is full of ads and “suggested reels” of old people getting facelifts. What exactly are you trying to tell me, Mark Zuckerberg? All my favorite people gradually left Twitter, or maybe journalism, this year, and I’m talking to crickets.

Read more at Apt. 11D, the Newsletter

7 thoughts on “Twitter is Dead, Long Live IRL: Are we all tired of the Internet?

  1. I’d recommend this for informative reading: https://twitter.com/AutismCapital/status/1593289815423799296?s=20&t=dHn2axkE6EeNtZIhDC-9cg

    Follow the link in the tweet. You’ll find the following, and much else beside: Never in my career have I seen such a complete failure of corporate controls and such a complete absence of trustworthy financial information as occurred here. From compromised systems integrity and faulty regulatory oversight abroad, to the concentration of control in the hands of a very small group of inexperienced, unsophisticated and potentially compromised individuals, this situation is unprecedented.

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  2. My favorite thing so far:

    New arrivals at Mastodon realizing that it, too, has some issues.

    My next favorite thing:

    Everybody who (pre-2022) said “Twitter is a private company and they can do what they want” switching their tune.

    Of course, that never was a seriously held position. Very few people who said that really believed that private companies should be able to do whatever they want and that nobody should criticize them for it.

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    1. Well, as the First Amendment tweets, criticizing a private company for whatever you want is entirely permissible. And, there are somethings that private companies can’t do, but they are pretty specific.

      I am now off twitter (I haven’t deactivated my account, because of the advice not to do so because it can complicate things) and I have been frustrated that I can’t sign out in all my accounts. I think I’m good with the decision. The break before was good, too.

      I was always a consumer on twitter, not a producer, so I don’t think it effects Twitter that consumers like me leave (especially if they switch to models that don’t depend on advertising).

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  3. I’m not tired of the internet. I’m tired of the oligarchs and expectations that we should adjust to fit them and their whims.

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  4. I’m not tired of the internet when it delivers what I want, either, but, for a while now, I’ve wondered how much of what I want is content that I don’t pay for, which is not a permanently sustainable use.

    Charles Blow writes in the NYTimes that he had disengaged from Twitter a half a year ago(except to use it to link to his articles for which he is paid) and was feeling good about it. And, he realized that he was using twitter to provide content for which he is only paid in “likes”. But, he’s one of the fortunate content creators who get paid for their work and can choose to disengage. What twitter/instagram/tic toc/facebook/. . . . provided was the opportunity to provide content (which I certainly appreciated) and I’ll miss it if people withdraw. I’d also miss free flowers given out at the street corner (if that was a thing), but its not a realistic expectation that it continue forever

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  5. Yes, providing free content is problematic. Sigh. A recent glimpse of my social security statement was rather depressing. I’m going to be hitting you guys up with gift guides and donation requests soon.

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