The end game on Twitter has been inevitable for more than a year now. Ever since a certain Elon Musk purchased controlling interest in the company in 2022, it always seemed likely that one of us would have to leave. For as badly as he mismanaged what was once the best (in my humble opinion) social media offering going, he never took the step. So I will.
And I hate it.
I really liked Twitter. I spent way, way too much time on there since creating my account back in June 2011. I totaled 16.8 thousand posts over 12 years, most of which probably fall in the retweet category. I don't think that includes likes, which surely dwarf that number.
I'm not going to go back in and count them for myself. I don't really care to even pop in for a peek anymore. The place has been sullied beyond recognition.
Before Twitter came Facebook. I never caught the MySpace train, so Facebook was my first social media experience. I'll ballpark my debut on the FB around 2007. Give or take. I recall creating an account and being astounded by all the old acquaintances to pop up. All those high school friends. Wait, that's not quite right. Peers? Associates? NPCs (to borrow from a term that wasn't coined until long after I last laid eyes upon any of my fellow schoolmates)?
Yeah, it was fun, briefly, to reconnect. The novelty wore off once they began to share their political viewpoints. The close friends I might genuinely have wanted to touch base with seemed to have had the sense to stay offline. Though there was one guy I seemed to become better friends with on FB than we had back in school. And thanks to the back-and-forths we shared about the Premier League, I can still roughly mark the end of my FB time. Because I didn't become a big Tottenham fan until around 2014, and, with him being a rabid Arsenal follower, we had a lot of entertaining exchanges. So while it always seems like it's been at least 10 years since I ditched Facebook, it's probably closer to seven.
And it wasn't because of him, or any of my other high school connections. It was more the awkward encounters with family members. The cousin with the gun fetish. The relative who took offense when I posted a link about cops abusing civil forfeiture laws. The unfollowing. The unfriending. All the crap you didn't have to deal with on Twitter because everyone in your family tree wasn't on there.
I "met" some great people on Twitter. I used to listen regularly to BBC Wales and play along with their 2:45 Teaser, submitting my answers via Twitter (and hearing my name called out across the ocean when I got them right, "James Bailey, from Rochester, New York, in the USA"). I had conversations with fellow listeners all the way over in Carfiff or Swansea or wherever they were. I talked music with the DJs. I had so much fun.
I talked baseball. I made connections, dating all the way back to when I was still writing book reviews for Baseball America, through the release of The Greatest Show on Dirt in 2012, all the way up through the publication of Major League Debuts this past January.
Those are the things I'm going to miss.
Because I just can't do it anymore. I can't take any joy in signing onto X (and I throw up in my mouth a little just calling it that). Twitter died long before the name change came about. I guess I only kept my account active in hopes that maybe Musk would decide he couldn't continue to lose money on the project and offload it to someone normal. But he's just as terrible of a businessman as he is a human. The value of the company has cratered along with its morals. Most of my old connections stopped posting long ago.
My last post was July 23 of this year, when we were on vacation in Cleveland. (Well, second to last, before tacking up a link to this post.) My last like came four days before that. My interactions dried to a trickle sometime this past spring.
I tried Post over the winter, but it just didn't have enough oomph to it to warrant the time investment. I did post a number of updates to my majorleaguedebuts.com site, with very little interaction to show for it. I got as far a installing the Threads app on my phone this summer, though its 15 minutes ticked away before I progressed to setting up an account. I did create one for Instagram, and have uploaded a handful of photos there to the lukewarm applause of my blood relatives (largely an overlapping segment dating back to my Facebook days).
But the scratch to my itch looks a lot like old Twitter. Bluesky. Brought to us by the same folks who gave us Twitter back in the day, it looks and feels like the real thing. The only issue now is when will it reach critical mass. It's growing slowly, at an invitation-only pace, reportedly topping 2 million users earlier this week. I finally got an invite key last week and set up shop there. Now it's all about getting the band back together. I'm up to 6 followers. I had a whole 621 on Twitter. (Say it with me, "Ooh, Aah, Wow." Super impressive, I know.)
I haven't been on long enough to receive any invite codes of my own yet. When I do, I will pass them along to my former connections on Birdland. One by one, we'll reunite and share our pithy observations on horrible VAR decisions, who truly deserved to finish second in American League Rookie of the Year balloting, and maybe even some theories on the 2:45 Teaser (I hope).
If you're there, look me up. I'm at @jamesbailey.bsky.social. Yes, I got in early enough to get my own name. Jump on it soon and maybe you can as well.
I'll be shutting up shop on Twitter very soon, likely before the end of the month. It was a nice run, but now it feels like driving down your old street and seeing the new owners have repainted and chopped down all the trees you planted. It's time to take another route entirely.