10 Twitter Alternatives, Ranked by How Bad I Am at Using Them
Is Twitter gone or isn’t it? Over the weekend, everyone was posting their goodbyes, and yet we’re all still hanging around while Elon Musk has a public meltdown. Like many other Twitter users, I’ve begun looking for alternatives, but so far the only progress I’ve made is remembering how astonishingly bad I am at social media.
Here’s a little snapshot of the odyssey I embarked on after Musk bought Twitter, and the hard look I was forced to take at my online presence.
Sometimes I think I’m not too bad at using Instagram, but then I remember that it took me five years to get a thousand followers. Sometimes I’d google “get more IG followers NOT BUY THEM??” and all the websites would tell me to just post better stuff, but I thought I was posting pretty good stuff. And you know what? I still think I was posting pretty good stuff.
Unfortunately, the moment I got my thousandth follower and began celebrating my new status as a “micro-influencer,” Insta changed its algorithm and suddenly no one could see each other’s posts anymore. Everyone’s feed was so crammed with ads and suggested posts that it seemed like the best way to see someone’s stuff was to not follow them. There were a couple of people I genuinely thought had disappeared until I saw that IG was just hiding them from me.
I still think I posted some pretty good stuff, back before Instagram self-destructed.
Facebook is a good platform if you’re interested in interacting with exactly two groups: your friends from high school and your estranged relatives. That’s it. Those are the only two groups that are active on Facebook. So an average Facebook session might go something like this: log on, laugh at a funny thing your 10th grade lab partner’s kid did, argue for two hours with a conspiracy theorist uncle before realizing that all you did was get two hours older, and then announce to everyone that you’re currently eating a bagel. The bagel announcement will be rewarded with some halfhearted applause in the form of likes and hearts. I consider that a W.
8. My family’s group chat
The main thing I post on Twitter is one-liners in response to current events, and I recently realized I can do that just as easily in my family’s group chat. So, for example, when I despair of ever being able to buy a house, I might text, “Housing market? More like mar-CAN’T!” and know that my mom will toss me a lol. The dopamine hit from the lol is canceled out, though, by the strained silence of everyone else.
The last time I was on Tumblr was 2011, and I would amuse myself by posting random panels from comic books and weird photos of my cat. I’m pretty sure I had no followers and no idea what I was doing, and I definitely didn’t know about all the fun stuff people were up to on it. By the time Tumblr banned nipples but left all the Nazi content, I had long since drifted away to other platforms, but now that I’m back on it, I seem to be in 2011 again. I mean, the site is way more advanced than it used to be and the fandoms are hopping, but for some reason I’m still just posting weird photos of my cats.
As of this writing, I am the host of 4 Discord servers, and they all have members. However, I haven’t logged into Discord for about 6 months, and I’m pretty sure my servers have just been gathering cobwebs that whole time. Here’s what I’ll say about my Discord skills: I’m definitely good at creating a server and convincing about a dozen people to join it. Unfortunately, my expertise ends there.
The problem with Substack is that you’re expected to produce entire paragraphs of text. I mean, that’s hundreds, maybe even thousands of words. Who’s going to give me money for a Substack newsletter that’s just a link to someone’s tweet with the word “THIS” above it? No one, that’s who.
4. A ’90s-era chain email
You know what these things are, right? Like way back from AOL days? “Forward this email to seven people or you’ll be cursed with bad luck for the rest of your life”? I’m just saying that if you want exposure, this is one way to do it. Start with the family members who are ignoring you in the group chat, and tell them that if they don’t send your opinion on Elon Musk to seven people—or, hell, let’s make it ten!—then they’ll be haunted by Musk himself. If you keep pumping out a steady stream of emails, then within a few weeks, millions of people could be reading your pithy observations!
I have not yet gotten this method to work. At all.
I was going to fill this whole section with toot jokes, since apparently in Mastodon you toot instead of tweet, but this inscrutable prehistoric beast is defending itself somehow. I tried to create an account but it told me to find a server first, and I don’t know what servers to join, and everyone who’s on Mastodon has multiple @ signs in their usernames and I don’t know what that means, and I think I’m failing right out of the gate here. Like, the starting pistol has fired, and I’m just flat on my face. Toot.
2. Knocking on my neighbor’s door to yell my thoughts about Andor in their faces
I figured it was worth a try, but the first time I did it, they just politely closed the door, and the second time, they didn’t open the door at all. I’ve been blocked by my only two followers.
I miss Vine.
(featured image: Marvel Comics)
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