Twitter in 2016

I've probably said this better elsewhere and before, but right now it seems particuarly acute.

Twitter is sick, and I am sad. I joined relatively early—2008—and generally had A Lot Of Things To Say. (Who knew younguns could be so angry about their crummy cell provider? Oh, wait.) Of course there have been loads of changes over the years, but the general thrust remained the same: find amazing people around the world, and be able to talk to them.

It just doesn't feel that way anymore.

Maybe this is all just a tidy alignment of a twenty-something's innate background-dread-radiation and a spate of ugly world news, but there's neither wonder nor joy left. The lovely folks who I was able to meet and learn from are all pulling back into private channels, and with good reason: being a mildly-popular, readily-accessible internet celebrity seems like approximately none-fun now. The party feels like it's gone on too long.

Of course, the blogs and essays of "how Twitter opened my eyes to protozoan homesteaders' rights" et al are nothing if not abundant. I don't begrudge anyone that. If you can open youself to anything other than that which is your own, I feel that you're better off for it. But watching from afar isn't the same as getting to know someone (even if it's in surface terms only).

Who knows? Perhaps my existential wagon wheel is slottering between muddy ruts at the bottom of a canyon; I just can't or won't look up and get a sense of how deep I am. I'll take the occasional hiatus, declared or otherwise (yes, hello, I'll just be over here feeling ever-so holier than thou) and that'll clear some of the jade-tinted fog for a little while. Or I'm trapped in a deeply, deeply cynical filter bubble and just need to lighten up a bit.

I can't recall its origins, but this fear is still a fear nonetheless: the open web might be dying. The era of unfinished and ugly things might be giving way to other, newer things that are also less fun. But the fact remains for now: I am sad. And I hope it all gets better.

Matt Policastro

I'm Matt Policastro, a data scientist at Clearhead. I build analyses and software to improve experiences and outcomes. I like bicycles, coffee, and building neat stuff. Welcome to my site.

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