Twitter began winding down its legacy verified checkmarks over the weekend. Now, people have blue checkmarks because they subscribe to Twitter blue. Since I won’t pay, I lost the blue check I had for nearly two years. While I was happy when I initially got the verification on Twitter, losing it will make little difference in my life.
Verification had some benefits. I got follows from people who otherwise wouldn’t have done so, including former presidential candidate Andrew Yang, Sen. Todd Young, and a handful of conservative media personalities.
It also bolstered my voice in the replies to tweets, meaning I could get more likes. The verifications on my social media—Facebook and Twitter—are conversation material. I never bring them up, but several people I know have been intrigued by it, especially women. Yet, the “perks” of verification are mostly superficial.
It’d suck to lose the blue checkmark if someone wanted to use their Twitter account to build a massive following to boost their ego. People like that exist, but I stopped caring about the follower count years ago. In theory, I could’ve used the verification badge to try to start political arguments with people with larger followings to get engagement on the site, but that doesn’t interest me. It also may have made it easier to show up in well-known people’s Twitter feeds because some use the verified tab under notifications, so they have fewer notifications to review. I never use that function, so I won’t miss it.
I like using Twitter because I enjoy “talking” to some people I follow on it. Enough anger and division exist online already, so I don’t feel the need to constantly try to own the liberals. While some may like to use their blue checkmarks to become Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez or Donald Trump reply guys (back when Trump used Twitter), doing that doesn’t benefit society. People don’t need to broadcast every opinion they hold on the internet. How would the world be a better place if I attempted to dunk on universal basic income proponents online and said people would use the program to buy drugs, booze, cigarettes, scratchers, and lap dances, pointing to how people already use EBT cards to do the same? What difference would it make if I replied to environmentalists with a picture of a chart showing how climate-related deaths have plummeted in the past 100 years?
I never used it to tweet a bunch of videos of black people fighting, attempting to rage-bait the internet into hating an entire group of their fellow Americans. Nor did I want to use it to mock transgender people, even though I disagree with the concept of transgenderism; it's easy to call Dylan Mulvaney or Lia Thomas ugly, creepy, and mentally ill in exchange for likes; many people do that on Twitter. That’s mean, not the proper way to approach a serious issue, and it wouldn’t change anyone’s opinion about transgenderism. The same is true of mocking working-class 22-year-olds for being in debt from college and calling them entitled socialists because they want something that’s in their best self-interest. Also, people got attention for spreading lies about elections and vaccines. No fucking thanks. Lying’s a sin. If I can’t convert people to being pro-life in 280 characters, why waste time arguing about other issues I care much less about or say crazy shit for attention? There’s little room for serious conversations with people who strongly disagree about divisive issues with that character limit. Expressing my thoughts is easier on a longer-form platform, like an opinion article for a media outlet.
This symbol I wanted now costs $8 per month—and I won’t pay. But losing the blue checkmark is worth it because many egomaniacal people will also lose theirs.