Twitter is known for news and memes and political outrage. But that’s like saying New York City is known for Time Square and Battery Park. The reality is much more nuanced.

Everyone’s experience with Twitter is different. To continue the analogy, who you follow determines whether you live on the Upper East Side or downtown in Tribeca.

I was never a big poster. But I spent a lot of time lurking. As creators and advertisers abandon Twitter in droves, I find myself thinking about what I’m going to miss.

I have a collection of hundreds of screenshots of my favorite tweets. They capture the range of human emotion from bathos to pathos.

I follow a lot of bots, which as a category have been unfairly maligned.

Some of my favorites automatically tweet out snippets from famous authors.

There is the Kafka bot. A typical entry reads: “7 June. Bad. Wrote nothing today.” Another tweets the (sometimes) steamy letters Virginia Woolf wrote her lover Vita Sackville-West. A sample from Aug 22, 1927: “I like your energy. I love your legs. I long to see you.”

I follow a bot that posts a photograph of a raccoon every hour and another that once a day calculates the percentage of the year that remains. I follow Doomscroller, which reminds you every hour to stop! Sample: “hi, are you doomscrolling? is there a hobby you can do instead, like a craft or tending to your plants? You still deserve time to rest and recover.”

I follow lots of archaeologists who post photos of little known Roman and Greek ruins. Other Twitter profiles post historical photos of odd things, like Einstein playing the violin.

And there is so much humor. The best comes from people who aren’t comedians. They just say something funny, sometimes only once, like:

“You can either get shit done before 3 p.m. or after. But not both. You have to choose.”

I am a fan of financial memes, many of which get at deeper truths:

“I just played Monopoly with my family. I ran out of money. Totally unrealistic game. Where’s the Fed.”

It’s sad to see this digital caravan of humanity dismantled.

It took a long time to come together.

Someone can rebuild it, of course. But it’s going to take a lot of time and it seems needlessly disruptive. But unfortunate things happen.

Twenty years ago people put a lot of effort into MySpace only to have to pack up and decamp over to Facebook a few years later. And later, plenty of those same people left Facebook.

I published on Medium for a while, but left when Evan Williams (one of the co-founders of Twitter) decided to put it behind a paywall.

These days I publish on LinkedIn and have found it a great place to connect with new people.

But there is no guarantee that LinkedIn won’t go to the dogs.

If it does, people will find a new place.

As I write, I just received a tweet that the @VitaVirginiaBot that publishes Virgina Woolf’s love letters is now also on Mastodon!