Bear in mind that I don't have thousands of followers and don't follow thousands of people, as seems to be the goal for a lot of people. I'm on Twitter because--as in the "Minute Men defended our Revolutionary Airports" thing by the Dear Leader last week--it can be amusing and is occasionally a place to see good resources float by in the Twitter stream.
But it has changed.
- Famous people (well, authors) who used to tweet a lot, like Margaret Atwood and Lin-Manuel Miranda, don't seem to be as active. My guess is that it's because they are actually, you know, writing instead of wasting time on Twitter as I am, but still.
- There's a lot less interesting, or interesting to me, actual information being circulated.
- There are lots of retweets, the more outrageous the better, of the same information over and over. It's as bad as the NYTimes's months-long "Editor's Picks" on the front page.
- There are a lot more memes, not just funny cat pictures or whatever, but stuff like this:
- Which literary critic or school of criticism are you? Take this quiz and find out.
- How old were you when you had your first (male/nonwhite/gender non-conforming) teacher?
- When is the movie better than the book?
- Who here is a fan of Stranger Things?
- Focus on very particular and sometimes arcane forms of political outrage, while things like the Administration's big gift to Monsanto or whoever of rolling back restrictions on pesticides that kill bees (as our friends in France well know) go completely unnoticed.
- Lots of furious comment threads that any academic program that doesn't have as its primary goal how to organize and destroy the neoliberal university ought to be burned to the ground. Sometimes this is paired with scorching anyone who gives advice on the job market, how to apply for graduate school, etc.
- Lots of comments about the Olds destroying the economy--emphasis on age rather than the real culprit, class and wealth. Thank you, Russian bots, for the "let's you and him fight" nature of this divisiveness that distracts from oligarchy and kleptocracy that is the real problem.
- More pictures of food or daily life things than there used to be.
The rest is pure speculation and observation, based on nothing more than random ideas as research.
But if you're a longtime blogger, doesn't this remind you of something?
Rage at the (academic) machine?
Little reports from daily life?
Twitter, or my tiny corner of it, seems to be reinventing the early days of blogs, when the blogroll was long and active. Memes? We had 'em, but less so nowadays. Rage? Check. Daily life reports? Check.
If you are on Twitter, have you seen this? Better still, if you're an Instagram user, how is this different on that platform, if it is?