The Twitter I Knew

The Twitter I Knew

I used to say: if I didn't have Twitter I wouldn't have friends at school, in the early days, when everyone told me it was really Facebook that was cool.

It's where I would go to say what I needed to say, but I thought nobody wanted to hear. Mostly Apple Keynote commentary, honestly.

But unfortunately, the conspiratorial, there-was-a-Maricopa-County-voting-scandal, anonymous racists with eight digits in their handle, very suddenly taught me that this Twitter — my semi-secret stream of a scarcely witty sixteen year old me: was not mine.

But there were many things I did not know, when the high school French exchange student also said the iOS 7 redesign was overdue. When oh my god, this person won Jeopardy, and they followed me, not you. When the Italian podcaster shared something I said, and then got a fish emoji tattoo.

I didn't know the reason the people around me had values I did not share, but I knew that here, there were people who did — look, there's the data on Twitter, right there.

I didn't know how to fix this code, or what to write, or where I should; and I didn't care, because there were other people, who could.

I didn't know why the first Twitter for iPad was so captivating, all the way to the demise of Tweetbot, via Twitterrific, Talon and Spring.

For years I would anticipate that inevitable ask of 'what is that cute bird on your dock?' then 'what is a client?' Now it'll be an elephant, its heavy feet just an imprint of a time when the vessel for my murmurs was not ruled by a tyrant.

Because as much as I thought that little world was mine, as much as I thought I would stay forever, and see it through, now I know: it was not Twitter I loved, but it was the Twitter I knew.

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