Kirstie Clements: If Twitter is on the way out, where do I go now?

Leaving Twitter is all well and good, but what do the social media alternatives have to offer?

Leaving Twitter is all well and good, but what do the social media alternatives have to offer? Photo: TND/Getty

As a long-time Twitter fan, I have been following the debate about whether to leave the platform now that Elon Musk has taken over and has already started to throw his toys out of the cot.

His proposal that people can just pay $8 a month to get the blue tick verification has angered many previously verified users, who are now looking to move their commentary elsewhere. It doesn’t particularly perturb me, as I have never been verified.

I am more of what is called a lurker, somebody who reads other people’s tweets, or retweets something I find funny or smart, rather than tweet my own and enter the potential minefield of being purposefully misunderstood.

I mostly follow Twitter to keep up with breaking news and current events, and I don’t have the emotional strength or the bandwidth for the ‘So you like apples, what’s wrong with oranges?” nonsense that Twitter can attract. So, I identified strongly when I saw this tweet from @keelyflaherty who wrote

“Too old for TikToK, too young for Facebook, too weird for LinkedIn, not weird enough for Reddit, too ugly for Instagram, where will I go now?”

Although I have a Facebook page, I haven’t looked at it in years, having tired of it very early on, and not being particularly interested in looking at other people’s family photos and misattributed inspirational quotes.

I find LinkedIn to be the most useless waste of time, a platform where the inhabitants speak a weird corporate language I don’t understand, and everybody seems to be a cheerful life coach and business entrepreneur without ever having had a proper job.

Perhaps I was supposed to pay to go up another level, although I’m not quite sure what masters of the universe lurk up there, because the unrelatable LinkedIn users I’m currently surrounded by have very important CVs that go for pages and read as gibberish.

I am on Instagram, mostly confused about what on earth I should be posting; food, a dog, a holiday sunset? Or should I be promoting something? Certainly not myself, I have a pathological dislike of selfies.

My mother hated being photographed at family gatherings, because her sister was a great beauty and Mum, while she was also attractive, was very sensitive about being compared and judged, and I inherited that.

It also doesn’t help when you get older, and everyone around you who is slim and young and photogenic spoils every enjoyable moment with a “stop, let’s take a selfie!” and you’re lurking like a sulky Gollum in the background.

I sometimes wonder if Instagram had been around when I was young and had non-droopy eyes and smooth skin, whether I would have been an avid selfie taker? There are alarming statistics that indicate that social media is taking a terrible toll on the mental health of young people. I think I was even more self-conscious then about how I looked about my hair and my weight when I was younger.

It’s not just vanity that makes me roll my eyes when supermodel Paulina Porizkova asks her followers to post #nofilter selfies, disingenuously skipping over the fact that she knows she looks fantastic, and we are all going to look like chunky wildebeest in comparison.

You get tired of keeping up. I am way too old to write my own scripts and do amateur hour over on TikTok.

I might just keep lurking on Twitter if the current affairs commentary continues. At least there’s no camera involved.

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