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I Haven't Used Elon Musk’s Twitter in Over a Month
How it's going? And how you can easily eliminate it too!
The End of Twitter is Here
On April 1st (not an April Fools Day trick) I chose to cease using Twitter. On April 7th Twitter chose to block links to Substack. The writing is on the wall not just for Twitter but all social media platforms that are not creator and user first. My decision to stop using Twitter was not an easy one because I used it in the following ways:
Trending - Back before it was taken over, my trending would actually show me what people were really talking about. Not what “you know who” wanted me to think everyone was talking about.
Lists - To circumvent the machine trying to make me endlessly scroll people I’ve never seen before and would never intentionally follow even if I did know them, I curated some pretty good “Lists” that would just show me who I wanted to see and wasn’t infiltrated by strangers or ads.
If I’m giving these two things up, how would I cope? I enjoy reading certain news and knowing what’s going on in the world (however harrowing it may seem at times). This meant I would need to take what I was getting from one app and divide among some other apps I now use more often:
Apple News - I’m getting this free for 60 days (I think?) and I have to say that I’m really enjoying the access it’s giving me. I’m sure there’s a way to better curate what it shows me and soon I will figure it all out. But for now, I have access to magazines and newspapers that would typically cost me money to subscribe to (Time Magazine, The New Yorker, The Writer, Inc, Writers Digest, to name but a few) and I hope they acquire more.
Flipboard - I’ve been using this app for at least the last decade and I would never leave it. I am able to see news from niche topics I want to know about, such as: Books, Writing, Apple, Nintendo, etc.
Substack - There was a time in the early days of my using Substack that I was averse to subscribing to more than maybe ten Substacks at a time. Why? I have no idea, really. But now that I’ve hit inbox nirvana and create a folder with rules for every single Substack I subscribe to, I’m like, BRING IT ON! I’m up to 30+ and growing almost every single day. And before you ask, of course, I’m reading all of them. Luckily, they don’t all send me an email every day or that might not be the case. This is what I consider to be my “List” like what I had on Twitter. People I want to know about and stay in touch with, if they have a newsletter (even if it’s not on Substack) I’ve subscribed.
YouTube - Not everyone is on YouTube but it is where I get a lot of my news as well. I have this curated with several accounts. Each one gives me a certain kind of video I want to see both familiar and new. I divide it into Tech/Productivity/Illustrators, Gaming/Gamers, and Authors/Writers.
Discord - Like YouTube, I consider this very niche because not everyone has a Discord and if they do it might be hopping too much or not enough. It’s a balance and sometimes I chat and sometimes I don’t. But it still allows me to be connected with people I follow.
Patreon/Kickstarter/Twitch - Lately, I feel I should put my money where my mouth is. And I do that with Patreon and Kickstarter. Some people I follow I choose to support through these two avenues and these last two years it has been truly great to give back. I use what little money I earn from Patreon to give back to Patrons, my Amazon Prime to pay it forward to a Twitch streamer, and the Kickstarters I back are a guilty pleasure addiction (Shh! Don’t tell my wife!)
Let me quickly list a few apps I refuse to use and will likely never use because they will never give me what I’m looking for. You probably already know which I’m talking about as they are clearly missing from my list:
Instagram (It’s just NOT what it used to be. I used to visit Instagram as much, if not more than, I used Twitter. But in the last 5 years it’s tanked in a huge way for me. I never see who I’m following and I’m just inundated with ads, ads and more ads. Such a shame as it had true potential to be great.)
Facebook (Was the first to go for me. When I first planted my flag on the “I Hate Social Media” Mountain nearly a decade ago, Facebook was the first I abandoned and I have just never had the inclination to go back. My one regret is that when I do check it once a year I always see months old messages from friends I had back in college where Facebook Messenger is the only means of communication. It stings but not long enough for me to care to even have the app on any of my devices.)
TikTok (I’m far too damn old to be TikToking or wasting time watching other short form content. I much prefer long form YouTube videos. Always have and always will.)
Mastadon/Tribel/Bluesky (Twitter alternatives but with the same level of vitriol. In fact, I put them all on the level of Reddit with how infested they all are at the moment. I also don’t care for their UIs at all. Maybe if they ever clean it up, make it make sense, stop BSing about how much they hate Twitter, and fix their clunky UI I’ll give them another look.)
Were you using Twitter and now you’ve decided to cut ties? Where are you getting your daily doses from these days? What app(s) are you using in place of Twitter? I’d love to hear in case there is a hidden gem out there I don’t know about. Just keep in mind that if it’s a steep learning curve or will take several hours to set it up “just right” I’m less likely to try it out.
FAMOUS LAST WORDS
The one thing I hate the most is losing touch with those I follow who aren’t anywhere else. It makes me realize how important it is to have a website, a blog/newsletter, anything else that isn’t tethered to a social media account. When you are locked in 100% it makes you dependent on a thing that can quite literally go off the rails and you have no control. Some of those “on social media” only people are on YouTube/Twitch so I will be able to see what they are up to from time to time. It’s just a shame that making the choice to leave a toxic environment means I’m leaving some people I enjoyed following on that platform behind.
I only hope to run into them again on Substack or on their own website with the ability to sign up to their blog/newsletter. Cause if so, I’m in!