The social media shift

Since 2011 I’ve been on Twitter. Twelve years is a pretty long time. Long enough. I’ve probably said this before. I’m taking steps to download my archive of tweets & media and then I intend to log out once and for all.

If anything I ever shared there had value—droll quips, shots of bookish eloquence and oddities I found, information about the books and authors I hold dear, nature photos, information about my adventures in publishing and literary translation—it seems unconscionable to continue adding value to a property of a person I despise without end (Elon Musk). Even before he bought the platform, there were major problems—it was addictive and sapped my attention throughout the day. Interpersonal conflicts and harassment were not generally a problem. On a few very rare occasions I had an exchange with someone that I found rude, baffling, and that left me feeling very disappointed (the one-upmanship of that esteemed critic whose posts are never-ending). Overall the platform was invaluable to me in countless ways, for discovering literary works I would have not known about otherwise, for publicizing my own work, for enabling a sense of camaraderie, for meeting other like-minded individuals, some of whom I would go on to collaborate with in a literary capacity. So in a way it’s quite sad.

Anyways, goodbye to all that. There aren’t many great alternatives. Instagram has never been my thing, though I had an account and sometimes lurked there. I deleted my account last night. I don’t think that platform ever added any value to my life. Sometimes its algorithm would present me with footage of serious car crashes that I never asked for, the probably-fatal kind. I’ll remain on Facebook in order to keep having access to several groups local to my neighborhood. I don’t have a Substack account and probably never will. Insofar as it has emerged as the dominant platform for longform web writing, and insofar as that status goes unquestioned, I hate it.

I’m not especially optimistic about Bluesky but I do think it may be the best venue for communicating with some of the people I’ve become acquainted with over the years at Twitter. My account there is

Really though, as for my sharing things online, I hope to write here more than anywhere else.