Twitter used to be full of cat memes and had a culture of sharing. Now, I pay a company to make sure my presence on the site is extremely limited, writes Annalee Newitz

Twitter used to be full of cat memes and had a culture of sharing. Now, I pay a company to make sure my presence on the site is extremely limited, writes Annalee Newitz

By Annalee Newitz
Suzanne Cordeiro/Getty
I WAS at the South by Southwest (SXSW) festival in Austin, Texas, in 2007, the year that Twitter turned the hallways into a marketing prank. Flat-screen monitors in the corridors broadcast a Twitter feed comprised almost entirely of people at SXSW, talking about SXSW. Frankly, my friends and I thought it was stupid.
We kept asking what this idiotic app was for. Answers were confused and various: it was for talking about things that were happening while they happened (thus creating fear of missing out, whose acronym, FOMO, hadn’t yet become popular); it was for telling interactive stories …

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