Alexis Madrigal writes about how, despite the ability to switch to the reverse-chronological timeline, you can never go back to the old Twitter.
Twitter always had a high-modernist novel’s scope — you peer into the boxes, and see someone having tea, a war you should have known was going on, a parent’s take on a 4-year-old, the latest ProPublica investigation, a screenshot of some idiot, a video of a black person being killed by police, an ad for Quiznos, and then Donald Trump tweeting about the television program he’s watching. The stack of information was contextless, traumatizing, and bizarre, but also energizing, the way a city makes you walk faster. It did that, but for your mind.
His comparison of the frenetic energy of Twitter to a bustling city makes me want to move out to the country. I’ve become entirely too weary of the constant context-shifting that the timeline (whether chronological or not) forces you into. Since my tweets are almost entirely syndicated from my blog, I mainly engage with Twitter these days via the Notifications tab to see the top tweets from my feed and responses to my tweets.