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by Brian Schrader

Breaking up is hard to do

Posted on Mon, 11 Jan 2016 at 09:58 AM

Twitter, we need to talk. I've been thinking, and I don't think our relationship is working out. You're not the social network I fell in love with anymore, you've changed.

Back in 2012, our relationship was so simple: I would follow people, and you would show me their posts in a simple, reverse-chronological timeline. You would recommend new people to follow, based on my habits, and people would follow me, starting the process all over again. The summer of 2012, for us, was the best summer of my life.

Recently though, you've changed. When you came home talking about your new makeover, something you called 10k tweets, it was a wakeup call for me. It was a small thing, but it was the last straw. We've been through some tough times together: I was there through the broken search era, the moments fiasco, and the great timeline reorganization. Those were dark times, but I stayed with you. You were different, you didn't try to manipulate me like my ex-who-shall-not-be-named. You let me be me, and I loved you for it.

I loved you, even with all your faults, maybe even in spite of them. I loved that DMs have pretty much always been broken, and that your blocking system has always been half-assed. Your faults are what make you unique. Others laughed at us, but I ignored them because they didn't have what we had.

We saw the world together. We watched the world cheer when Lady Gaga sang The Sound of Music, we cried together when the news of events in Ferguson broke, we laid in bed together laughing at comics of Admiral Akbar, and stupid pictures of salads. You were there for me, during my stupid pictures of a fedora in random places phase; those were dark times. Our love was tested, but we came out of it stronger than ever before.

We've had so many great times together, but I can't keep pretending that everything's ok. I depend on you, like so many others do, for realtime communication, and when you came back from that weekend Social Network's Spirit Quest in that WigWam in Arizona, you almost lost me. You said that you'd "rediscovered yourself" and that you were making changes for the better. I tried to talk to you, we all tried to talk to you. We wanted you to go back to your roots, but you were converted by the teachings of Guru Facebook.

I can't keep pretending that we're still happy together. I loved what we were, but not what we are. And so, I'm leaving. Sure, I'll still visit every once and a while, but I think we should start seeing other people. I have to do a little "rediscovering" of my own. I need a social network that respects me, that doesn't reorder my messages because it knows better, or renames "Favorites" to "Likes" in order to desperately cling to the idea of being hip. I want a network that respects developers, and doesn't drive them away. I'm at a point in my life where I want a service that knows what it is, and what it wants.

I guess I'm saying that you've changed. You're driving your friends away, and now you've driven me away too. Sorry to say it out loud, but it's true, and so I'm leaving.

It's not me; it's you.

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