Elon Musk Twitter: The Death of Twitter?

So it feels like ages since I’ve written a business related article. Years, in fact. Business has had a strange journey on this blog. Originally, that’s all I talked about. I would read a business book and then talk about those ideas. Eventually, that transformed into Mental Health and the rest of the blog has shifted away from a heavy focus on articles. Early in the Pandemic, I tried writing business articles on LinkedIn. Those saw some success but I felt a disconnect. Effort vs. Reward just wasn’t there. Here, I write for the fun of it. And I’ve been itching to talk about the Elon Musk acquisition of Twitter.

As you may be aware, I’ve done away with my social media presence since the Pandemic began. Think of this article as more of a continuation of what I’ve already talked about on my crusade against social media. If there was any doubt about my decision to leave the digital realm behind, it has been erased by watching the social media giants implode. Meta is a whole other story and quite frankly a mess. There’s a certain satisfaction in watching their fall but I also worry about those impacted by the collapse of the social media giants.

Twitter

Twitter has been on a wild ride within the last couple weeks. The biggest news is Elon Musk laying off half the workforce and charging $8 for a verification system that seems inconceivable with how Twitter was designed. That said, I can understand some of the decisions made. When I’ve envisioned Utopian social media, there has to be a way for the site to be supported. Typically, the two go-to options are crowdfunding or advertisements. You can either have it free and your data sold or you can give money to the creator to help support the site. If I’m not mistaken, Myspace was completely free, which led to it’s eventually demise. Myspace was the ideal and while I was too young to share in its joy, I still remember how amazing it was. A time when the internet was actually Utopian. Then came Facebook and Twitter. And now here we are, in uncharted territory.

What is Elon Musk doing?

It seems like madness and it seems like chaos but I’m intrigued at what’s happening at Twitter. My theory is Elon Musk is gutting Twitter as we know it and trying at least in part, to create a more concise social media experience (in a perfect world, where everyone was a rational being). I would not be surprised if we saw it integrated with his other companies and went the route of a professional social media service, similar to LinkedIn but more specialized. However, if he is forced into a particular vision remains to be seen. Advertisers are leaving Twitter in droves and soon we will see a mass exodus of users on the platform. Based on what I’ve read and watched, it seems Elon Musk does indeed want the current userbase to stay. While I gave up the Twitter life a couple years ago, I have hopped on from time to time to check in. With the acquisition however, my desire to do so has all but disappeared. The new verification system sounds exhausting and begs the question of who can you trust on Twitter? What would a post-Twitter world even look like? Once Pandora’s box is open, can you close it? While we don’t know for certain if Twitter will die, I think we can all agree that Twitter as we know it is done. It is essentially in the hands of a madman.

Random Thoughts

It’s a lot of information to process. One day, Twitter was fine (in the loose definition of the word). Then overnight, the Media giant was brought to its knees by one man. Half the staff, gone. Many others resigning, quitting. It is alarming to think that if one has enough money, they can do this. People’s livelihoods have been destroyed and for what? Seemingly nothing. A CEO does not simply do these things. At least, not a proper CEO. I always thought of Elon Musk as a sort of madman businessman but at least with his other companies he could hide behind “Vision”. A mission to colonize Mars, a mission to reinvent the automotive industry through electric batteries. While a tough sell, getting people to hit the grindstone when you have a mission to save the world makes the pill easier to swallow. With Twitter you’d have to be out of your mind to stay.

Covering Social Media

As part of my long term goal for the blog, I want to start covering social media trends on a more regular basis. I’ve written about their mental health implications and since then I’ve been noticing more coverage on the detriment behemoths like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter have had on society. I know deep down in my heart, there are better ways to run Social Media. I’ll be keeping up with all new developments and look at the global impact. If you have any thoughts, sound off in the comments below!

November 2022 Newsletter: When Chaos reigns

It’s been a crazy last couple months. There’s been a lot of good and a whole lot of crazy. Short Story month was a success. Adulting has been hard and the wheel of time never stops turning. This is the intro and now we’ll dive into the nitty gritty.

Short Story Month

The first “official” short story month was successful. I was able to publish two short stories and the second story I was especially happy with. While the stories did lean more towards horror this year, I’m glad I made the series open ended; the main goal is writing practice and to that end I achieved my goal. With it’s success, I’ll solidify it into the series rotation.

When Burnout Hits

So it has finally happened, I have reached a point of burnout with work. I’ve been working at a nonprofit for the last year now and it’s been an interesting experience to say the least. I have hit the maximum of part time hours I can work (about 30) and I have become well established in multiple departments. I work the front desk, teach rock climbing, and assist with events currently. Over the summer, I was a camp counselor and still assist with childcare from time to time. Teaching, Event Planning, and the right type of customer service. Here’s where it gets tricky; the pay. I did the math and I’m only bringing in $19000 a year (rounded-up). Short-term, this is ok. Long-term, not so much. Compared to previous years of income, this is the least I’ve made since entering the workforce. It is a rate that has not kept up with inflation and it is a rate that doesn’t sit well with me personally. Now that I have the experience, I can once again look at the factors that make for a satisfying life. While I have work that I find enjoyable I just cannot justify everything else I would be sacrificing.

This Month (and a little of last month)

I’ve been running around the last couple months. September I had a wedding to attend, my bike got a flat, and I was coasting along. Come October, I got my bike fixed, my student debt relief application sent in, and braced for another busy month. Now, my two main goals are health insurance (through the affordable care act) and my New Zealand application. I cannot believe how fast time has gone by. The health care application is nearly complete and I’m just waited to be fully approved for coverage. New Zealand is going to be a lot more work. Everything goes well, I’m still waiting four to six months for the application. Afterwards, I’ll need to renew my passport and get a RealID for domestic travel before the deadline. In the meantime, I will also be ramping up my job search as a backup. December might be the first month where I can truly relax this year. And yet, I’m still swinging a miss on one of my new year’s resolutions. And that is… Learning the piano. So, it is time to practice. If I can put 10 hours into deciding a vote, I can put time aside every week to learn the piano. I’ve been cooking, coding, walking, biking, and learning French. So it’d almost be criminal if I didn’t at least try again with piano.

The Drum Beats On

It’s a bit of a fever dream right now. I am in a weird limbo where things are going well but my heart craves more. I am pushing my personal goals forward but it all moves slowly, then quickly. The blog is exactly where I want it and no major changes will happen (unless I live in New Zealand, then you bet I’ll do another travel series). Poetry, Short Stories, Mental Health, and Sustainability all make writing incredibly fun for me. It took many years to get here, but we’re here. My posts get plenty of likes and there is not a whole lot of heavy lifting. I write what I want when I want and keep on schedule (mostly). With short story month behind us, November really could be anything in terms of content. A poem? A short story? An article? Hard to say.

Other Nonsense

As of right now, it’s just a lot of planning. Believe it or not, I’ve begun longing for the days of the call center. Full benefits and a work environment that in hindsight wasn’t all too bad with a large organization that gave me access to resources. That’s not to say what I’m doing now is bad, it just is very limited as far as what I can do career wise. Since I’ve achieved my work experience goals, it is a simple matter of moving on out. It’s been a year of personal growth and I’m proud of what I’ve done, I just hate how there always seems to be extra steps to get what I want out of life.

Voting

Quite recently, I voted. I have been voting since I turned 18 and this election I really dug in to understand my values and who would best represent those. For my entire life I have seen Oregon on the decline under the leadership of Kate Brown and I simply said enough was enough. Being a moderate my views run a spectrum so I sought to provide balance in our legislature. I watched a couple debates and found information on each candidate. Each ballot measure I looked over and thought about how it would affect me as well as the larger implications as a whole. I feel I struck a nice balance and all the choices I made I’m happy with. That said, long term I think I will end up relocating. Oregon is not as it was and I want a fun city in a fun state where I can live. The job prospects here have not been great and I’m wondering if I can use my alumni network to make a smooth transition elsewhere. So basically it’s a “we’ll see” sort of year.

Doing the Math

So I’ve done the math [my favorite phrase today, apparently]. Career wise, I cannot stay any longer than the end of the year. Early 2023 is fine but any more and I’d be doing a disservice to myself. I also cannot outright quit as it is still nice to have a source of revenue (and the work is enjoyable). The schedule and hours all work with my current plans so I can simply build on what I’m doing. The weekends are typically pretty quiet, so I simply work on my blog and get my coding goals done. It also affords me time to read books and just really sit back a take a breather after the last couple of years. However, if I were not doing these things, I’d be bored out of my mind. And that is not ideal for a workplace environment. Overall, I think it’s good to have this type of experience during my 20s. I’m jumping around and just figuring out this thing we call life.


This will be a month of doing. Ramping up my coding, finishing a few books, and getting the foundation laid for next year. It’ll be a time to learn piano and make sure all personal milestones have been achieved. I’ll be looking towards the future in what will be another busy month. As always, thanks for reading!

The Lighthouse: A Short Story by Mike Cole

He had reached this shore many times before. The waves crashed against the rocks as the fa├žade of the lighthouse came into view. Faded were the once bright colors, the bricks long since crumbled on a shore unknown to man. He was trapped and every time he ventured, he eventually wound up back where he started. His memories were beginning to fade and his reality had become a blur. How many years had it been? Ten years? One Hundred? Time had no relevance here. He could see every reality play out, timelines that were no longer his own. When the rift had opened up, he had thought nothing of it. A glitch in the matrix, a blip in time and space. He thought he could make it back but the further he ventured, the more the route changed and the more it stayed the same; twisting and turning as if a machination of his own imagination. For every step forward, a step backwards. It was always the Damn lighthouse. A shelter in the storm and now a prison. He would always end up back here. He could be gone years, live a life and travel as far as his body would take him, but eventually, he would find himself back.

The light had not shone in years. But every so often it would begin to flicker and come whirring back to life, focusing its beam on some unseen shore in the darkness. And every time he would follow the light. Sometimes through storms, other times dead stillness. The waters were always an inky black. Heaven or Hell, he could not tell, more of an in-between if anything; purgatory, if you will. At first, reality jumping had been fun, living a different life from his own. He could see how his life would have played out, if he had only made different choices. In one he had a family, found love early on and kept it. The other he was a CEO, another a treasure hunter. Each a piece of him and each uniquely different. There was no life in this Ocean as far as he could tell, only darkness. Funny, considering the rifts he jumped through. He was getting closer to the rift and he wondered what he’d find this time around. Would spiders crawl out of it? Would he feel the splash of water? Rats? Anything was possible when traveling through the rift. He felt something brush up against the boat. A moment later, he capsized.

The Night of the Green Owl

He was exhausted. The rain pattered and whistled in the evening air. He could hear the tick of the clock as it moved closer to midnight. His new home held an eerie quiet to it. The floorboards creaked and the fire crackled even as the howling wind began to pick up. He heard thunder strike. ‘One Mississippi, two Mississippi, three Mississippi, four, five…’. Another crack, one mile away. The lights flickered and then the lights were out. He made his way downstairs; with each step the floorboards creaked. Thunder and then a flash of lightning. “Was that a streak of green?’, he thought. No, it couldn’t be. Lightning flashes are white, not green. The owls were hooting tonight. On most evenings, he typically only heard one. Tonight, it sounded as though they were hundreds; every owl in the forest must have been awake, watching for some unknown presence in the dark. He heard a light tap on the window. Just a gentle, *tap, *tap*, *tap*. As he walked down the stairs, he stumbled. He caught his fall on something furry. Soft, almost like feathers. It was his trench coat, hanging neatly on his coat rack. At least he had made it downstairs. He walked by his fire, growing dimmer with each passing moment. The flames danced back and forth, illuminating the shadows on the walls. He found his way to the kitchen, where he fumbled to grab a flashlight before heading down to the basement, where the breaker was located. *creak*, *creak*, *creak* went the floorboards. *creeeeaaak* made the door handle as he opened it and peered into the darkness below. Each step was heavy and the sound of wood made the journey tense. Water splashed as he hit the ground floor. He went deeper into the basement. He heard a gentle hoot and his flashlight beam hit glowing, green eyes in the dark.

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