Twitter - Thumbs Up/Down?
Posted by Charlie Recksieck
Should You Stay Or Should You Go?
They're losing key parts of their workforce, losing trust, losing face and definitely taking advantage of H-1B visa workers in their employ. They've intentionally downgraded any monitoring they're doing, alienating super users, among other problems and practices we don't need to go into.
Lots of people are wondering, me included: Should I stay on Twitter?
Take A Breath
If you're on Twitter after Elon Musk has seemingly been doing everything in his power to make people want to jump ship, you'll see a lot of goodbye, Twitter posts from people. Just a bit of free advice: Don't make that outraged "final" post unless you're prepared to mean it.
But where are they going? Where are they jumping to?
If you want to deactivate your account, remember that there is a 30-day cooling off period then it's gone. Also, I've read that the reactivation in there is buggy. Unless there's something particularly embarrassing in your previous posts or circumstances have changed about your professional situation, you should probably leave those posts there for a bit - at least until everything about Twitter shakes out.
That said, I have heard Musk bragging lately that Twitter user numbers are up. Of course they are! His stats probably do not reflect any recent deactivated accounts; then with formerly banned people like Kanye West and Donald Trump and many more coming back, then more liberal-averse people signing up to show support of recent developments then all of that leads to an obvious rise in the total number of accounts.
Why Are You On Twitter? Professionally Or Personally?
If you're a Twitter user just to follow people, tweet to friends and be part of some national conversations online - then you are probably in a better position to quit and walk away from Twitter as a moral objection. If you've been spending too much time here (e.g. do you post 10 times a day?) then perhaps this is a great ethical-based excuse for you to leave. You might actively feel better without reading some reply from a stranger why they think you're the worst.
But if you're like us and want to promote your offerings to the public, Twitter is still for the moment the best of its kind. Personally, I've walked away from posting personal items on Facebook but I have a couple of professional accounts there and use them for targeted advertising. As they said in "The Social Dilemma" documentary, that makes me the customer and the people that post their goings on are "the product."
A perfect example for Twitter users who are stuck for the moment would be journalists or music artists. Public figures can get their work out in front of people. Increasingly, reporters have had to cultivate Twitter accounts almost like a second career. They can't afford to leave Twitter just yet until the industry really changes things away from journalists being required to cultivating their own readership base apart from their employer publications.
That brings us to the big question. Where can you go for something similar if you want to leave Twitter? That place very likely does not exist yet.
Mastodon is pretty darn close but until they have anything close to Twitter's user base then it's not a valid substitute. Everybody seems to be in a holding pattern for finding a "microblogging" alternative. Just tell me where to go and we'll all go there seems to be the prevailing attitude.
Reddit is a social media but doesn't work the same. Twitter is real-time and until somebody like Bluesky or Mastadon gets there in a similar way and with enough of a groundswell of users, people will hang on to Twitter reluctantly. At least until a time where Twitter becomes politically ugly enough where the whole user experience actually gets worse - and let's admit the truth that it's never been an emotionally supportive place even in its best days.
Right now, we'll plan to cautiously stay the course. If we start finding something that looks better, we'll let you know. You do the same.