Twitter seems to be in trouble. I have to ask myself, “Why do you care?” I haven’t been an active user on the platform in over six years. When I made the deliberate choice to check out of Twitter, I made my account private, uninstalled the application from my phone, and abstained from posting to the site. I have considered deactivating my account over the years, but have resisted the urge. What if I want to resume using it? This is doubtful, especially in its current state.
A few podcasts have urged people to download their Twitter history. I had been resistant to this, but after the initial Twitter layoff I decided to request an archive of my history. The process was smooth and I was able to download my archive a few days after my request. I didn’t know what to expect from the archive. Why would I want a bunch of random data? I was taken aback by the formatting of the archive. The archive is presented as a local web page, where you can navigate through your history of posts much the same way you could do so on the website.
Once I launched the local webpage in the archive, I was not ready for what awaited me: my full blown anxiety of the upcoming 2016 US Presidential election. My last few months of posts on Twitter were filled with concern and anxiety. My posts reeked of desperation. I was bargaining to avoid what eventually became inevitable on election night. I had forgotten what the final days before my sabbatical were actually filled with.
It seemed fitting that a few days after being confronted with this trauma our former President would announce his 2024 campaign. I didn’t want to see this, but I knew this was coming. My unease has returned. I’m not looking forward to the next two years.