It’s been interesting to watch so many people leaving Twitter behind and the complex emotions they’re experiencing as they do it. I’m talking Kubler-Ross levels of denial, anger, and grief. It seems that we’re losing not just a website, but connections to something deeper.
Are we grieving a sense of community? I ask because Twitter felt like a community, until it didn’t. We Twitter-enthusiasts stuck around for a long time, hoping we’d get those old feelings back. And because we have no real-life community to fall back on, it seems we’re left with two unhappy choices: Look for connection inside the abusive rage-tornado on sites like Twitter, or accept feelings of disconnection and loneliness when we leave.
My opinion is this: the opposite of Twitter isn’t Mastadon or Micro.blog. Instead it’s connection, friendship, and community. That’s what we’re mourning. Not the tweets and likes. After a long period of experimentation, we’re discovering that synthetic connection can’t compete with the real kind. So does that mean it’s time to bring back social clubs, game nights, bowling leagues, service organizations, and potlucks?
It’s not the only answer, but I suspect it would help a lot of us.