Speaking of Twitter…

After reading this article today, I decided to follow its suggestions and fortify my online presence a bit…because y’know I’m so famous and all I’m gonna get hacked.

Yeah, right.

Well, actually I did it because so much of my online life—like the article’s author—is tied to my Twitter login. I’d hate to have to go through what that poor guy did if it was ever compromised.

So I enabled two-factor authentication and downloaded my archive. I opened the archive and started looking my tweets from when I joined the service in 2009. Much like reading my Journals from twenty-five years ago, all I can say is:

For the first few months I constantly referred to myself in the third person (because apparently that’s what all the cool kids were doing), as in, “Mark Alexander…had a tasty piece of cherry pie.” “Mark Alexander…is wondering if this day is ever going to end.” “Mark Alexander…thinks having basic computer skills should be a requirement for employment in healthcare.”

Well yeah that last one is still spot on, but seriously…

One other thing that stands out (besides my supreme social media naiveté at the time) is how innocent the service used to be. Like I posted yesterday, “It has mutated from a simple way to express pithy thoughts with your friends into a vehicle for psychic violence and unending hostility.”

What’s equally disheartening is realizing how many folks whom I once had vibrant online relationships with have simply disappeared from the system. And don’t even get me started on the number of broken links in all those tweets.

That is something that’s bothered me long before seeing it played out on Twitter. As I’ve mentioned previously, on this here blog thingie, broken YouTube links have been an ongoing thorn in my side. What good is recording your life and sharing cool stuff with the world if half of it is inaccessible after a year or two, and what does it say about us as a society that we’re putting all our trust into recording our history now in zeroes and ones, only to risk having it all disappear in the blink of an eye?

At least the ancient Egyptians had the good sense to carve everything into stone.