We loved debate. Not Twitter.
Once again, my inspiration comes from the announcement of a media outlet’s purported death. The Atlantic published a eulogy for Twitter this week by Adrienne LaFrance and Robinson Meyer, spurred by the social media giant’s declining user activity numbers. A steady decline of timeline views since Q1 of 2013 has led TWTR into a pit of investor disdain as its shares have shed nearly half their value over the past four months.
Has Twitter lost some of its charm from the earlier days as @AdrienneLaF and @yayitsrob pointed out? Certainly. But life will go on with or without retweets and hashtags. The root of our love affairs with Twitter has always been debate.
I didn’t join Twitter to follow the rudimentary newswire much of it has become. I dove into the sea of hashtags as an 18-year-old journalism student to engage in the dialogue surrounding the day’s slate of features. I joined conversations, anxiously refreshed my timeline waiting for replies, and grew to love the dialogues.
Twitter has moved too far away from its roots, perhaps in an attempt to catch up with Facebook’s burgeoning population of parents playing casino games and following their kids’ interactions. Recent hints at moving away from the @, RT and # may spur new users and engagement, but how many more tweets need to be thrown into the cauldron of opinion? [click to tweet]“The little corners we occupy online always feel bigger than they are because of the company we keep” – LaFrance and Meyer
Despite the global reach, we all felt connected by the same threads of that awkward architecture. It was our language, and if you thoughtfully contributed you were a cog in the beautifully clunky machine [click to tweet].
If Twitter is put out to pasture, we will share our stories elsewhere. We will find new online ecosystems. We’ll get swept away in the next best thing until we become blasé. Then we will write eulogies, uproot and move on in our nomadic journey of storytelling, always keeping in mind the only constant: The #debate.
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