inessential by Brent Simmons

The Stream

These days we all pull-to-refresh for a living.

Alexis Madrigal writes in The Atlantic that 2013 may be the year “the stream” crested:

The great irony is that we got what we wanted from the stream: a way to read and watch outside the editorial control of editors, old Yahoo-style cataloging, and Google bots. But when the order of the media cosmos was annihilated, freedom did not rush into the vacuum, but an emergent order with its own logic. We discovered that the stream introduced its own kinds of compulsions and controls. Faster! More! Faster! More! Faster! More!

I’m not on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, or SnapChat. I’m on Twitter.

Twitter used to be fun, but it’s not fun anymore and it’s never going to be fun again.

Years ago Twitter was the street corner where we all hung out. Craig Hockenberry and Loren Brichter — Twitter app developers — would pull up on their skateboards and show us cool new tricks.

We felt like it wasn’t just a thing-to-do: we felt like we were on to something. There was something new to discover.

It took years for me to learn that the feeling of being on to something is a pretty easy illusion to create. I stopped reading Twitter several months ago and haven’t missed it. I still pay attention to mentions and sometimes I reply — because I don’t want to be a jerk, and I think it’s important for people who make things to be accessible.

The 140-character stream is where things not worth saying, and not worth reading, thrive. It’s where things actually worth saying get over-simplified and then get lost, if they get said at all.