Dear @Jack, I don’t love Twitter anymore

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This isn’t an easy letter to write. I mean, we’ve been through so much together… Remember the good old days, back when everything was new and exciting? You were even trying to disrupt vowels then!

Oh how innocent we were. How full of hope for the possibility of a 140-character microblogging service. For the joy it could bring, and the good we could do together — even just with SMS.

Now I look back and I just feel numb.

What you did yesterday finally made me see it, Jack. You can’t hurt me anymore. All those years I was pouring my heart into 140-character snippets, eagerly retweeting the wisdom I saw bubbling up all around me, engaging in conversations with interesting strangers — but how did you repay so much goodwill? With coldness, Jack. With indifference.

Thing is, you never really listen.

Sure, you drifted away for a while. You had that new role — playing at being chairman of the board. Maybe you had started feeling rejected too. But instead of reaching out, like you could have, and listening to what I really needed, you retreated. You shrugged and said “not my problem.” You gave me the cold shoulder.

How did you repay so much goodwill? With coldness, Jack. With indifference… You never really listen.

But that’s not all. For years you and your friends held our perfect chronology hostage, threatening to destroy what we’d built together as you fell in thrall to your new algorithmic gods.

I begged you not to do it. I pleaded. But your heart had hardened. I doubt you even felt a flicker of feeling when you flipped that switch and rewrote our story.

I shouldn’t be surprised. For so long now you’ve been saying you know what’s best for me. Putting me through endless A/B tests. Becoming more controlling of what you think I should see.

I should have spotted the warning signs before it was too late. But I didn’t want to believe it, Jack. I wanted the old you back. So I defended Twitter — even when others were busy laughing.

And then there was the abuse. I pleaded with you to listen — to do something to stop it. I shouted and screamed. But for some reason you couldn’t fix it.

Maybe your attention was elsewhere. Or you didn’t feel it was your problem to solve. Sure, you said you were going to change things. And tried to fob me off with a few tools or by telling me to tell you when bad stuff happened. But I could see in your eyes you were conflicted.

You used to say you didn’t want to take sides. That it was not your place. But then you’d lash out wildly when under pressure. The truth is you should have been putting your energy into fixing the problem at the source years ago. I don’t think you realized how much goodwill had been lost — until it was already gone.

It’s like you put so much faith in your algorithms you didn’t have eyes to see how much was falling apart around you.

Jack, I can’t feel sorry for you now because I don’t feel anything anymore. I’m at peace with what we have. I haven’t cut you out of my life entirely, but nothing you can do can hurt me because I don’t love Twitter anymore.

I’m sorry. It should pain me to say so, but it doesn’t — because you took all my passion for Twitter and crushed it.

And now I see you casually ripping up the threads of friends’ conversations — and, once again, failing to listen when people tell you what a mess you’re making — and I can only feel sorry for you, Jack. Sorrow. That’s all that’s in my heart now. I have no hope left for us.

I’m just sad it’s ending like this.

Featured Image: Bryce Durbin/TechCrunch

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Algorithmic Feeds

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