Saying Goodbye to Twitter

I didn’t want to use a Twitter logo for this post. So, here’s a cool photo of downtown Des Moines I took instead.

You might have noticed that I don’t write too much about politics here. I’m not sure when or where I mentioned it before on here, but I’ve made a conscientious decision to focus this blog (and my Substack page) on, as I put it, writing and the writing life.

Occasionally I might mention items about politics on my own personal Facebook page, or perhaps other places. I don’t mention them here. It’s my belief that keeping a clear focus for this blog and not letting it be about whatever pops into my head. I had one blog where I wrote it anonymously and that was just about anything that came into my head. That blog wound up just lasting a couple months before I got bored with it. I kept this blog on the specific topic of writing, the writing life, and my writing life in particular. It’s now well into its fifth year of operation and going steady, although it’s not like I’ve been able to use it to make any money. Yet.

As part of this effort to express myself online, I also wound up getting on social media. My time on Facebook, and the page I dedicated to my writing, actually predates this blog. For a while, I also was on Twitter, first with a personal account, and also an account associated with this blog. I just thought it would be a good way to get the word out about what I was doing here.

Until now.

You might have heard that the son of a South African emerald mine owner has purchased Twitter for such an insanely inflated price that he spent the better part of this year trying to get out of the deal until a Delaware court all but forced him to go through with it. This is not the place for me to recount the whole story of what has happened to the service (many others are doing a better job of that online), but it is sufficient to say that to buy the company he wound up cashing in a lot of the stock he had in his existing company and securing far too much financing from the government of Saudi Arabia for comfort. Since then, he has apparently been busy slashing payroll and expenditures to the detriment of the platform’s services, driving away advertisers and users by ignoring proper content moderation, and allowing the site to become a haven for right-wing terrorists and bigots.

This is now the portion of this post where I will briefly become political. Don’t worry – it will only last for a couple of paragraphs.

I refuse to believe that anyone in this world can earn a billion dollars without either inheriting a large portion of that sum or exploiting other people. I fail to see how anyone with any hint of sanity would not see that having $999 million dollars would not be a sufficient fortune and feel compelled to grub for even more money.

Although there are many things that are worthy of debate, human rights and equality is not among them. Bigots of all kinds have no valid contribution to make to society and their “opinions” on what type of people are worthier than others have no value. The proper way to deal with such people is not to coddle or understand them, and certainly not to debate them. They must be shunned and opposed under any and all circumstances.

As a result of this, I don’t feel like I can support being on such a platform anymore. After carefully downloading a data record of both my accounts, I posted a final Twitter thread to them last night. This is the pinned Tweet on my Liegois Media Twitter page as of this moment:

Barring technical difficulties, I’ll be deleting this account in 48 hours (5 p.m. CDT 27 November 2022). Anyone after that trying to claim on Twitter that they’re Jason Allan Liegois who grew up in Muscatine, Iowa, for any reason, personal or otherwise, is fake and/or a bot.

As much of this is a supposedly principled stand that I am making, I also have to admit that there is a slightly mercenary aspect to this as well. I had long hoped that my presence on Twitter would result in some additional engagement with people who might want to read this blog. In all honesty, that hasn’t happened. For example, I decided to leave my Twitter threads up for about two days to give any followers of mine sufficient time to bookmark the links I left posted there. I will be highly surprised if anyone uses those links, much less that even a single Twitter user will respond to those posts. On Twitter it often seemed like I was yelping into the void, in all honesty.

I had toyed with simply deleting all of my tweets and leaving my account open as a zombie account, but it’s much easier to delete the whole thing, and I already have the data if I ever get morbidly curious about all of the items I posted over the years.

It was very therapeutic to unfollow everyone on my Twitter accounts and slowly see my Twitter feeds dwindle to a blank screen. It was even cooler to see how many of the writers I follow on Twitter have Substack pages, so I was taking the time to subscribe to those pages so I could continue to read their work. I would really like you, or anybody really reading this, to subscribe to my Substack page. I am using that to develop an email list of subscribers and an online community that I hope will be much more sustainable and personal than “social media” networks. Most everything on this site (with the exception of perhaps my writing journals) will be posted on the Substack site.

Go ahead and join me there. We’ll talk writing.

6 thoughts on “Saying Goodbye to Twitter

  1. I share many of your concerns about Twitter, but I’m not ready to bail out just yet, although I opened a Hive account today. I’m probably too invested in Twitter, and I’m definitely not in love with it. As long as I can continue to use Twitter for my own purposes, and my sizable community is still there, I’ll probably hang in unless and until it implodes, at which time I won’t shed a tear. Best wishes on your new paths!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks very much for your kind words. To be frank I haven’t been able to develop as much of a community on Twitter as you, so it’s not a great loss to me. I agree that Twitter will be around and all-powerful until it isn’t. I also think that the communities online are what we make of it.

      Again, thank you so much for checking in with me. Hope official retirement is going well for you.

      Liked by 1 person

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