It took me a while to feel more than begrudging appreciation for Twitter. Now looking at the ghostly shell of the social media site we all lovingly called that “bird app” it’s hard not to feel a twinge of guilt.
A tyrannical billionaire destroying something we all love in the name of ego is honestly par for the course in this country. Elon Musk is nothing if not a stereotype. But as the app descends into some kind of intensified hellscape, it feels oddly personal.
I went into journalism because I believed that there should be more reporters who looked like me and cared about what was happening to Black women in this country. I wanted to tell stories about our community that mattered and where we had agency.
And for better or worse, Twitter helped me tell those stories.
It’s where I first heard about Tracy McCarter, a Black domestic violence survivor sitting in Rikers Island for killing her abusive husband.
It’s where I connected with mothers from across the country who were concerned about the impact of COVID-19 on their child’s safety and their ability to put food on the table. And it’s where I learned to never take what people in power say at face value because there is always another side to the story if you’re willing to listen.
I can’t imagine what a different reporter I’d be without the ability to tap into the minds of millions of people around the globe from people who, like me, traditionally have had very little room to breathe in mainstream media spaces.
Losing my connection with the conversations and people that helped spark some of my most treasured reporting on Black women and other marginalized groups would be a massive blow.
And while I won’t miss the trolls, if Twitter goes down, I plan to give it one hell of a send-off.