I don’t give a shit about Elon Musk.
He’s not the reason I’m leaving Twitter. For so long, I’ve felt like something was missing from fandom; I’ve been dissatisfied, bored, and disillusioned by the whole experience. I even left fandom for a long time, three years. I returned because I missed it; I missed writing fanfiction.
I was never the most vocal fangirl; even when LiveJournal was in its prime, I always existed on the fringes of fandom, but for every year that’s passed, I’ve retreated more and more.
I don’t have anything to say; social media fandom is so fucking boring.
I’m not trying to insult anyone; it’s not about the people. It’s about fandom spaces and how social media ruined them; it discourages individuality, community, freedom of thought, and the respectful sharing of joy.
That’s not what Twitter or any social media promotes; it thrives on conformity, division, and toxicity. It doesn’t want us to think; it wants us to stay on our feed and engage with as many advertisements as possible—that’s how they make money.
How do they get people to stay? By making them angry. It fuels and encourages a culture of hating someone or something; it rewards mob mentality and outright bullying. Fandom has always had its drama; that’s unavoidable when a large group shares one space. But the toxicity in social media fandom, the mentality that forces actors to abandon their accounts because of threats to their life, is absurd.
I didn’t use to be that way.
It’s mindboggling to me that so much of the uproar at the current changes on Twitter is centered around the loss of freedom.
Freedom? What fucking freedom?
How are we free when an algorithm decides what we see on our feeds? When toxic BNFs with large audiences can encourage and inspire their followers to outright harassment of real people. And for what? Because they don’t agree with a ship? Adults. Middle-aged women bully each other mercilessly. Death threats. Is that freedom?
In my civilian, non-fandom life, I deleted my Facebook years ago, I don’t have TikTok or Twitter, and the last image on my Instagram is from three years ago. I don’t like it; I think it’s fake and unhealthy. It’s making us stupid.
Online communities used to be better than this. We, the fans, controlled them, not autocratic tech billionaires or influencers trying to sell us shit.
I’ve talked about this before, wishing we could go back to how it used to be, that we should all migrate back to Dreamwidth. It’s not only about nostalgia; it’s about owning fandom. About a space that ours.
But, although a lot of people complain, most are unwilling to pack up and start over. So, I accepted that this is what fandom looks like now, that fans today are not interested in creating a space that belongs to us. They don’t want to run websites, moderate communities, write newsletters, run wikis, create episode guides, write meta’s, and run archives.
They see fandom as a service provided to them, not something they’re part of creating and running.
At least, that’s what I thought. Then the Twitter exodus happened; I created a mastodon account as a backup, and by doing so, I discovered that old-school fandom never really went away; I just didn’t see it.
The old internet, the wild, free, chaotic, ungovernable internet I loved, is still here. But, like the people I complain about, I’d become complacent.
I believed that because we lost LiveJournal, Tumblr and Twitter were all we had. It’s not. There is a whole other side of fandom that I hadn’t seen. A fandom that’s still independent.
A space without influencers, where no one is collecting data about me to sell to advertisers. Where we make the rules, we control the ban button; we can toss the bullies and their instigators out.
I’m so sick of social media fandom. It’s a fucking shithole. I can’t go back. I’ve wanted to leave for so long but stayed because everyone else did. I just can’t. I can’t do it anymore. Not now, when I know, there’s an alternative.
So, I’m leaving. I know that means I’m leaving a big part of my main fandom behind; people who won’t follow. But I want to enjoy fandom and be in a space that doesn’t thrive on toxicity and division.
I want to converse with people from different fandoms without feeling like I’m betraying my own. I want to like posts from people who ship something different from me and not worry that I’ll get hate. I want to have conversations with people who disagree with me, where we can agree to disagree and still enjoy our conversation.
I can’t do that on Twitter or any social media. So, to end on a short, eloquent note:
Fuck this shit. I’m leaving.