photo of a blue sky by Francesco Ungaro on Pexels

Yesterday, a friend of mine contacted me on Discord. He hadn’t heard from me in a while, and decided to check in. I’m immune-compromised, and was finally recovering from the vast amount of dust that had been kicked up due to the construction work on the street where I live.

We caught up with each other, talking about video games, TTRPG’s and other stuff. He asked me if I wanted a Bluesky code, and I accepted his offer. I’ve found a few friends on there and started following them too. My husband joined Bluesky the same day I did.

Not too long ago, another friend offered me a Bluesky code, but I wasn’t ready to make the jump from Twitter (now called X) just yet. My plan was to delete a bunch of stuff from my personal Twitter account before jumping to Bluesky.

At the time, I had concerns that if I abandoned both of my Twitter accounts, someone else would take them over and cause problems for me. So, I was kind of stuck.

What made me change my mind about joining Bluesky? It was a number of things that slowly built up after Elon Musk took over Twitter. The site became a slow burn that eventually made me want to flee from the dumpster fire.

For example, I noticed that the people who purchased a blue check mark were almost always at the top of the responses to someone else’s tweet. Based on what I saw, it appeared the main attraction to the blue check mark was to ensure that their tweets would appear first — above those who didn’t want to pay Mr. Musk for a blue check mark.

The result, at least how I saw it, was that I had to skim past a bunch of blue checks before I could see anything the people I chose to follow posted. Many of the blue checks posted tweets that were intended to harass the person who made the original tweet.

I started noticing that reporting people on Twitter was ignored — including the tweets that very clearly appeared to be threatening an individual (or a marginalized group) with violence. At some point, I noticed that the report function … simply stopped doing anything and those tweets stayed up.

All of that was making me very nervous, and I was glad that I made my personal account private.

Very recently, Elon Musk stated that he plans to charge all of X’s users a “small monthly payment” to use the platform. Mashable reported that around 24 hours after Musk made that comment, Bluesky had more than 42,000 new users, making it the biggest signup day yet for the currently invite-only platform.

Yesterday, Elon Musk decided to shut down Circles, which (according to The Verge) let people share posts that only a limited group of people could see.

The X Help Center posted the following: “X is deprecating Circles as of Oct 31st, 2023. After this date, you will not be able to create new posts that are limited to your Circle, nor will you be able to remove people from your Circle. You will, however, be able to remove people from your Circle, by unfollowing them as described below.”

In short, Elon Musk is taking away a feature that some people are still using. I’m not sure how one can explain removing parts of X and threatening to charge people money to use the platform.

When I made an account on Bluesky, it was like a breath of fresh air. I found some friends on there that I knew from Twitter/X and followed them. It feels like a fresh, clean, start of something new. I didn’t realize how much I needed that.

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