Considering Threads

Back in the day - in other words, before it became a bigot-filled mess - I was a huge fan of Twitter.

I’ll admit to spending far too much time on the app, but I’ll also admit to enjoying myself and making some real friends along the way. Once Space Karen took over, I used it less and less, turning instead to Mastodon and Instagram to both express myself and keep in touch with friends.

The Twitter app came off my devices, I deleted one of my accounts, and spent my days getting to grips with all the nuances and differences on Mastodon.

This week saw the launch of Threads and reader, I signed up immediately. But before you shut your browser window in disgust, let me explain.

I was all in on Instagram, so the privacy and data use concerns being shouted from the rooftops were already familiar to me. Familiar, not agreeable or pleasant. Basically, I’ve already sold my soul to Meta by using Instagram and Whatsapp. Getting my hands on a contemporary Twitter-alternative seemed like a no-brainer.

And for these first few days, it seems like a place I’d like to keep using. It’s definitely a rough Beta, missing lots of functionality you’d expect in 2023 (alt text for images, lists, direct messages, a followers' feed…the list goes on) but lots of this stuff is on the way.

What I’ve found, once I’ve muted all the random accounts that annoy me, is reconnection with people I’ve missed since I left Twitter, and all the fun of Twitter circa 2009.

On the other hand, what I’ve seen on Mastodon has been a ton of condemnation of anyone who steps foot on Meta’s new platform. I understand a lot of the frustration with these platforms and why Mastondon fans are so wary of Meta, Twitter et al. But as far as I’m concerned, the benefits I’m getting outweigh the negatives.

I’ll be keeping a foot in both camps for the foreseeable future. Not to mention, where I’m also sharing my ‘wisdom’. Let’s see how Threads pans out and whether it remains positive and fun, or it too descends into a cesspool of nastiness.

Richard MacKinnon @TheMacPsych