Abandoning Twitter.

Date: Feb 16, 2022
Tags: [life] [tech]

Recently, Twitter decided to introduce NFT profile pictures. Which, to me, is a sign I might have to minimize or stop using it at all.

No, This is not an overreaction, and I will explain why

I’ve always wanted to leave because Twitter is a non-free dis-service, Twitter uses an algorithm to show posts to users, which means that the experience is way more personalized and thus bad for your productivity and mental health.

Algorithmically-sorted feeds are not just bad for productivity (I have experienced that it’s hard to leave Twitter after opening it multiple times) but it also requires so much information that it basically surveills and spies on every single thing that you do, this is a violation of privacy rights.

Of course, Twitter does not care about your privacy, their whole goal is to make more money and that is by showing advertisements, the reason why they use algorithms is to keep you on the site and to show you more ads than a chronologically-sorted feed would.

Slowly but surely, the urge to leave Twitter was building up and this was the final straw.

2021

2021 started off with the January 6th riots and the GameStop squeeze. Initially, I supported the movement that started the GameStop hedge fund squeeze, though I slowly began to despise them. They were heroes, and they became idiots.

After the GameStop squeeze, the subreddit that started this began posting terrible investment advice, especially about cryptocurrencies. They told people to invest in weird methods or to pour all of their money into some cryptocurrencies just because “It’s going to rise sooner or later!”.

The investment advice got some wealthy (Approximately 1000 people, 0.01% out of millions). They started bragging about it, with each post receiving thousands of upvotes. Reddit shows posts to users the same way that Twitter does (unless you opt-out). So people never saw posts about others losing their money and even if they did, they didn’t care.

And slowly, but steadily, this movement, and its terrible investment advice, started growing. The one victory against the greedy Hedge Funds turned them into the same rotten people they fought against.

When Elon Musk decided to participate.

One day, Elon Musk tweeted in support of this movement; They grew by hundreds of thousands of members overnight and the movement became mainstream. Elon Musk also participated by spewing terrible investment advice, the same as the movement, encouraging people to spend all of their wealth on Bitcoin.

The movement became deranged overnight as they started creating their “Idiot-Investor” dialect which includes phrases such as “It’s rising to the moon.” and “KEEP HOLDING! NEVER SELL!”. Any professional investors who even remotely understand these phrases will know that this is terrible, terrible, investment advice.

Many inexperienced investors were now following the terrible investment advice, and because of that, so many people lost their life savings because of Elon Musk and this movement.

Their stories did not become very widespread. Instead of that, their stories were left in the dark, for me to discover, for me to read and for me to condemn this movement. Every day, many people tried and most of them failed. And every day, a new victim was lured in by the promise of great riches.

But now, they were not just a movement. No, it was big enough to be classified as a distinct community. It was no longer merely a movement. It became a community. A community of “Investors”.

Late 2021, and NFTs

In early August, I was devastated. I witnessed one of the most awful communities growing. It couldn’t get worse, could it? Especially not after they made so many people lose all of their money… Right? But then NFTs started becoming mainstream. To me, this was another cycle of this terrible community trying to cash in on another trend.

And, they did exactly just that. In early August, Twitter was peaceful. It was mainly Reddit that was affected by this community. No other platform was. Yes, there were some people on Twitter whose profile pictures were set to an image of Bitcoin or had a #Bitcoin in their bio but I was able to block them. They were manageable.

But then people started creating NFT websites and projects to cash in on this trend. And now Twitter had millions upon millions of Cryptobros (Someone whose entire personality or identity is about cryptocurrency and the Blockchain). They were no longer getting manageable.

A mysterious “New Technology”

And then came Web3! It got worse and worse with each Blockchain-based project, more Cryptobros! More NFTs! And today, the platform is infested with these parasites. I cannot use Twitter anymore. A Cryptobro always appears in my timeline, ready to ruin my day.

No matter how many people disliked this new technology, NFTs grew, without an end. People were desperately trying to cash in, to the point where the average Joe had an NFT and started boasting about it despite not knowing anything about how the technology worked.

And I tried desperately to educate people about NFTs and debunk any false claims, but no one listened. And they were no longer going to anymore. Twitter is not a platform where people listen; I realized that way too late.

When I witnessed all of this. I could not deal with Twitter anymore. And lo and behold, I switched. On January 4th, 2022, I announced I would almost no longer tweet or use this account. I switched to Mastodon. On January 20th, I explained a bit more about why I did.

I am still struggling to switch. It is challenging to leave Twitter, Though I try very hard.

But why Mastodon?

Decentralization in Web3 has many problems compared to Mastodon and the Fediverse. You cannot delete something on the Blockchain, so how can you delete an awkward post?

If you wanna learn more about the Fediverse then you can go here. It explains it pretty well… Be aware that Fediverse servers are usually crowdfunded or community-hosted. Make sure to engage in your community and contribute to crowdfunds.

Mastodon is also comfortable because it is easy to use. Posts are not sorted by algorithms. Posts are shown in chronological order. I find it way easier to browse Mastodon just for a couple of minutes and leave. There is no algorithm trying to get me to stay, so I become way more productive.

There are no ads, no tracking, and it is way better. It feels way more like a social media than Twitter. Twitter just feels like a robot trying to guess what I like, sometimes it succeeds but I don’t want it to because that means I become less productive.

And also, because Mastodon and the Fediverse are made up of communities, it means you most likely will get way more engagement or replies or likes than on Twitter itself. You are way more likely to be heard!

Seriously. How many times have you tweeted and only gotten a couple of likes or none at all? If you tweet something relatable or engaging or fun in Mastodon you attract people, you get a following that cares about your work. If you do the same on Twitter, you only get 2 likes at most, and maybe a single follower.

Mastodon promotes human engagement, in Twitter, you almost always have to always use hashtags or some other oblique way of becoming trendy. In Mastodon, you can just post, people will listen.

And the final benefit? No Cryptoidiots, my timeline is not filled with Cryptoidiots. There is no “Trending” section showing me anything related to Cryptocurrencies or the Blockchain.

I will not fully abandon Twitter. I will maybe log in to check what is going on though I try to not post anymore.

Hopefully, you will also agree with me and try to find a Fediverse server that you like. You can also follow me at @oklomsy@social.linux.pizza

See you there!