Updated: Jan 21
Dare we admit, but for so many of us it’s a staple of our lives. For those of us who use Twitter daily, the thought of its demise is bleak. Even the lurkers of its world would arguably be lost without it.
Ironically, I’ve actually been on a personal Twitter break for around a month now, yet I’m still checking in regularly through my alternative accounts.
Where else do we go to gather such a rapid fix of news, culture and updates? To be away from it entirely is a tough break and not one for the faint-hearted. FOMO jokes aside, as humans in the digital age we need to know what’s happening as it’s happening. Gone are the days of waiting for the newspaper to drop on the doormat.
Twitter runs deeper though, it’s a rich source of identity, a way of life. It hosts our friendships and communities. Where we live in a world that runs so rigid on norms and social etiquette, Twitter allows us to be something different.
We can be accepted as disabled people in our full entirety, and we can learn about who we are outside of being marginalised in wider society. We can set up businesses, try out new ideas, get published, and finally find ourselves accepted. Twitter isn’t just a news outlet. Its hashtags and communities are what brought us together, and now we collectively worry about whether it will leave us apart..
Where do we all go now? (Credit: @jon1987)
Tweets and DMs flying around in a state of frenzy. People checking in with their close friends and wider acquaintances trying to find a way to keep in touch, just in case. Can we truly cast any judgement on such acts given the global crises we’ve found ourselves within over recent years?
Twitter going down is not inconceivable in the era of crisis, it’s just another new problem to resolve. If there is one thing we humans are adept at, it’s this and our need to socialise. Digital life is no exception.
What will become of our movements, our regular chats, seeing that tweet from your friend every day, the one that always makes you smile? Where will we find new discourses and embrace our new identities that arise from them? The argument is that there will always be alternative spaces and platforms, but there is nothing quite like Twitter. Nothing like its breadth and openness to find new friends. Our communities there are a family, an outlet, and a full-scale army when we need to call the world out.
Where is Twitter going?
So, where is Twitter going? None of us can be sure, but whether it will remain, change or vanish as the place we once knew, there’s a valuable takeaway from this. One that shows us just how real digital life is, with our online communities at the heart of this.