Leaving Twitter but reading tweets via RSS

Robin Rendle, writing on his excellent and gorgeously-designed blog:

I left Twitter the other day, this time for good and it was a simple enough decision: this party sucks and it’s sucked for a while, let’s get outta here. But the party gave me everything! My first writing gig, my friends, my first real gig, my home here in SF. Maybe I’m giving too much credit to the platform (where I should be giving credit to the people on that platform), and maybe I’m seeing it all through blue-rose-tinted glasses, but that lil community of folks changed everything for me.

I can get behind most of these words and I want to thank Rendle for putting them together beautifully like this.1 I couldn’t get so honest and emotional when I decided to delete my Twitter account back in April, as I was too focused on sharing the reasons, and not generous enough to list all the things Twitter brought into my life. Maybe I should add this to my “blog post ideas” list.

The things is — since I continue to follow a few beloved Twitter accounts thanks to the magic of RSS and one of Nitter instances, allowing me to still consume a lot of tweets daily — I don’t really miss Twitter. Maybe that’s why deleting my account was not as emotional as I thought it would be. To me, it didn’t feel like leaving the party.

Sure, I don’t have an account anymore, so I cannot reply, like, retweet, or share anything, but I don’t miss Twitter. It is still very much a part of my day, and it might even be more enjoyable that way.2 I don’t feel like I need to tweet, retweet, like, I don’t have to check who the hell is this new follower…

To me, these RSS feeds of selected Twitter accounts are the essence of microblogging, the origin story of Twitter. I still can see what the users I follow are sharing, and that’s it. Sometimes I open a tweet in a new tab just to see some of the replies below, like I would read a blog post outside of my RSS reader to have a look at the comments. A Twitter feed without the features of Twitter feels like what Tumblr used to be, like each tweet is a tiny blog post, and each of these Twitter users is a blog I added in my RSS reader. Twitter is just better without Twitter.

Maybe this sweet set up will die soon. I would really miss Twitter if RSS feeds end up being disabled, if new features announced back in June end up breaking the Feedbin-readability of these posts, or if the whole platform implodes. Not sure which is the most likely at this point.

  1. Another beauty coming from Rendle worth sharing: a new newsletter called How Not to Make a Book.↩︎

  2. I don’t miss Twitter but I still care: I am truly worried about it for obvious reasons, more than ever.↩︎