omething funny about apps: No matter how much we try to swear one off, another of a similar nature gradually settles in to fill the void. Exhibit A: Yours Truly’s experience. Months after deactivating my Facebook account, I soon realized that Youtube—perhaps the “funnest” app on my phone post-deactivation—made a poor substitute. For one, there was barely any interaction with the larger community. I wasn’t the type to leave or like comments, and neither did I share my own content, so my only incentive for visiting the site was to check if any of my favorite channels uploaded anything new. Second, there wasn’t much in the way of local news, happenings, or chismis in the videos that appeared on my Youtube feed—vagaries which, by contrast, gave my FB account a more localized, distinctly Cebuano or Filipino vibe.
So really, out of sheer boredom, and like a child anxious for a toy to play with, regardless of how old it is, I tapped the icon to my Twitter app and logged back in after about…three years? This was around the middle of 2017, in the midst of one of my longest FB deactivation phases, and my last tweets pertained to my most anticipated movies of 2014. (Ah yes, I remember when I was so looking forward to The Hobbit: There and Back Again. Insert disappointed sigh here.)
I first signed up for the @jack-founded platform back in 2011, amid enthusiastic feedback from college classmates that it was “lingaw” and despite initial hesitation to create another social media account that would require subsequent managing. At first, I didn’t quite get what all the fuss was about. Just like on Facebook, you could “like” (symbolized, though, by a heart instead of a thumbs-up) someone else’s post (tweet, in Twitter terminology), and you could share (retweet) that same post/tweet. The most obvious difference perhaps was that the interface was a lot “messier,” and more frustratingly, tweets couldn’t exceed 140 characters—a proviso especially vexing for someone who’s quite the lengthy poster on FB. There was also a notable tendency for one’s tenses to shift when phrasing posts and tweets. For example, if I were to post about how I “Just walked 20 kilometers” on Facebook, that same text would take on a present-tense form on Twitter (given the more real-time and rapid