The beauty and the frustrations of Twitter dot com

Photo Illustration by Joel McCarthy
Photo Illustration by Joel McCarthy

By Chandler Walter, Editor-in-Chief


Who would have ever thought that 140 characters could cause so much joy, grief, laughter, and hate.

Twitter has been a staple in my life ever since I started punching those miniscule jokes/rants/thoughts into my Blackberry Bold. I miss that Blackberry.

Back then everyone I knew had a handle, everyone had their own take on what was trending (usually just beef between the different cliques; it was high school, after all), and everyone was active.

Flash forward to 2017, and my feed is filled with professional comedians, news publications, and only a few of those brave souls I actually know in real life that have held onto it for one reason or another.

If I wasn’t an active part of the media, professionally, I probably would have jumped ship a while ago as well. As much of a stake as I have in the app—sliding into my girlfriend’s DMs three years ago was definitely a highlight—I’ve found that it is usually the last social media square I’m clicking on while commencing my usual, brain-draining scroll.

It may, of course, be me to blame. The people I’m following could be what’s bringing it down; maybe it seems as though everyone I actually know has “left” because they couldn’t put up with my own Twitter antics, and actually just blocked me; or possibly it’s just a silly app that shouldn’t have a thought given to it, let alone 400+ words in a student newspaper.

Whatever the case, I know that I’m well and stuck in maintaining a presence with the bright blue bird. Twitter seems to have become a necessary app for journalists and the like as a way to communicate, keep up to date, and post their own articles for the world to see. I generally just RT things I find humourous, but we all should know by now that I’m not perfect.

On the surface, Twitter is amazing for what it is: Simple, quick, to the point. Where it fails is in the utter avalanche of opinions and ideas that come streaming out of it in a suffocating rush. It used to operate on a linear basis: things that were older were lower, and newer tweets were higher in the feed. Then it decided to pull a time-warp and place past tweets earlier, and “what you missed,” “things you might like,” and, the worst offender of all, tweets from people I’m not following, but that have been liked by those that I am following; there’s an RT button for a reason.

With all of these new changes to the once-simple structure, the ever-updating nature of the app, and my own laziness as far as cleansing my following list goes, I am left with an onslaught of information that I barely ever have the time to wade through—meaning that most of the time I won’t even jump in.

Which is too bad, because it was great in its prime.

In all honesty, though, I’m probably the one that has gotten stale.