It occurred to me the other day that if Twitter were to go dark, it would be as though an entire nation was suddenly wiped off the map. And if you’ve seen any news in the last week, you’re probably aware that Twitter is in trouble.
Many may not realize this, but Medium likely wouldn’t even exist if it weren’t for Twitter. Evan Williams, the co-founder of Twitter, actually launched Medium in 2012 as a longer form alternative to the platform he and Jack Dorsey had achieved such soaring success with. But there was still something to be said for the short-form posts that Twitter so famously trafficked in.
To say that the 140 character tweet helped to shape the world of social media is perhaps an understatement. It’s difficult not to see the byproducts of these abbreviated forms of communication echoed in the Tiktoks, Snapchat stories and Youtube shorts that have emerged across the internet in recent years. The entire world of social media has gradually shifted its focus toward shorter and shorter ways of communicating information. We’ll never fully be able to measure the ways that Twitter accelerated the process, but the role that it played is undeniable.
I feel as though there’s a general attitude of apathy from older generations when they consider the role that phones play in the lives of millennials and Gen Z. Even as our elders grow addicted to these devices themselves, they lose sight sometimes of the irreversible change that these transitions represent. But oftentimes, even those most effected by the digital revolution we’re all living through are numb to its meaning.
We have a better understanding of this digital existence, yes, but even still, we can be impressively jaded to the broader picture. It’s easily forgotten that most of the humans to ever walk this earth could have never even imagined inventions like smartphones.
We can find light in the possible loss of the platform that’s been a digital home to many of us for most of our lives. We’ve shared memes and tweeted furiously through all of the greatest challenges of this last decade, so maybe it only makes sense that we face this digital oblivion laughing.
On one hand I truly have to admire this stubbornly persevering sense of humor of ours. But on the other hand, there’s…