Skip to main content

Seventeen years on Twitter

· 2 min read

Seventeen years ago yesterday, everybody was talking about that amazing gadget, the “iPhone” — but nobody you knew had one yet, because the world had been introduced to the iPhone only two months earlier.

Seventeen years ago yesterday, in Europe only wonks knew who “Obama” was, since he had just announced that he'd be running for president the previous month.

Seventeen years ago yesterday, I had been living and working in London for one year, and I was loving it.

Seventeen years ago yesterday, Twitter had been open for registrations for half a year, and was slowly getting more attention from geeks (although the product had been one year in the making already). It was exactly then that I joined the “micro-blogging platform” and started tweeting all kind of banal thoughts — just like the few friends of mine who were there already.

Here go a couple seventeen-year-old screenshots from the days when I was experimenting with early desktop clients for Twitter:

An old tweet of mine

An old tweet of mine

My stats tell me that during my first year on Twitter, the people I was interacting the most with were @teoruiz, @vibragiel, @pablobm, @ampajaro and @grdloizaga.

At its peak (for me), Twitter was a most important source of information and communication channel. Starting a few years after it launched, and up until a few years ago, one could praise Twitter in public, and celebrate the many insights, tips, flashes of inspiration, nuggets of entertainment and human relationships that one was gaining from it, and nobody would scoff at you. It was great.

With the benefit of nostalgia, some of those banal tweets are now kind of dear and surprising to me, and bring many great memories of work, travel, nights out, hobbies and personal growth. (Also of stupidity and naivety.) It's like those old music tracks one suspects are really bad but can't help loving because so much personal history is attached to them.

Now it's been a few years since I effectively moved to a better alternative (the Fediverse, Mastodon) — and a few months since I took an indefinite recess from “microblogging” altogether (I prefer to devote my time to blogs like this one). But I can say that, hey, for some years, Twitter was great for me.