Twitter is dying and I don’t know what to do

Spring 2009. I’ve seen LiveJournal posts from friends full of updates from a site called This has been going on for about a year, short micro-updates with things like “Bananas foster day in the dining hall” and “Hour 3 of all-nighter. Two pages in. Not sure what I’m doing.” The inanity of the updates made me dismiss the site as stupid. Why would you want to tweet (another silly term, I thought) something in 140 characters? It could be its own LJ post.

May 2009. I’m experiencing those blissful days between turning in my last final exam and graduating into the worst job market with no idea what kind of jobs to apply to, much less what to do with my entire life. I ditch the idea of grad school. I can apply for math Ph.D. programs in the fall if I change my mind.

What better thing to do in a fit of boredom than to sign up for Twitter and figure out what the big deal is?

So I do exactly that, using the same username you know. I have no idea how my life and the world will change in the coming years.


What I’m reading, late 2022 to now

Wow, I haven’t done a book review post in almost a year. One day I’ll be as consistent about these as I was six or seven years ago, when I was actually reading more.

The truth is, I’m having a hard time concentrating on fiction, especially because I’m horrendous at listening to fiction audiobooks. Part of that is due to the way technology and the world of constant notifications is wiring our brains. It has become impossible for my brain to concentrate on a series and remember everything that happened in the previous books, and I suspect the only way to fix this is a complete brain rewiring.

Another piece of the puzzle is the number of commitments I’m juggling now. Yes, I’m working only one job now, and I work remotely. But I’m also active in the Pokemon Go battling community and trying to revise a book and running Wikiwrimo and, shockingly, having a social life. Try to tell 2017 me this while she’s struggling to pay all her bills.

With all that and all the regular responsibilities that come with being an adult, sitting down to read a book feels like a lot, especially as my social calendar fills up. And if the book doesn’t grab my attention on page one, or if I’m waiting to hear from someone, or if my brain is all over the place like it often is now, my brain concentrates on everything else except the book in my hand, which makes reading feel like a chore.

I’ve been reaching my book goals over the past couple of years thanks to my book club, a couple of marathon sessions and the power of audiobooks. The problem with audiobooks is that I find myself incapable of listening to fiction that I haven’t read yet. If I could listen to fiction, I’d be set, and my to-read list would be a little shorter. But I haven’t been able to harness this power, so I find myself listening to nonfiction books on a wide variety of topics, and those areā€¦ a mixed bag, let’s say.

To give you an idea, when I started writing this post, I had read six books this year. It’s April. Three of those are fiction, and two of those were for my book club. (I missed January’s session because it was the weekend following my sterilization.) The other three were audiobooks, and I still haven’t chosen another audiobook to read because I’ve been traveling to Pokemon regionals and haven’t been out and about alone too much.

I checked out several graphic novels in the hopes that lighter reading with more pictures would help me get back in the groove. I talked about momentum in my post about Pokemon regionals, and while this is unrelated, getting that momentum back is what I need to get back into reading, or writing, or anything else.

So let’s get started. I’m not going to review everything I read in the past year, just the highlights.


Online decentralization and Wikiwrimo

If you know me at all, you probably know about Wikiwrimo, my passion project of the past thirteen years. It’s been cited by sources all over the internet, the folks at NaNo HQ use it, and I’m pretty sure Wikiwrimo has helped me get at least one job.

If you don’t know this, you’re probably in that very large circle of people who play my secret Pokemon Go hobby but somehow don’t know about my less secret hobby of NaNoWriMo.

It’s a weird secret to keep because in case you haven’t noticed, I haven’t worked that much on the wiki in over a year. I mentioned this last year; I don’t need the money to keep the site afloat. I need help.

I’ve touched on the topic before, both in my 2021 post asking for Wikiwrimo help and in the “What has happened here?” thread on the NaNoWriMo forums in late 2022.

Now, the biggest challenge to running Wikiwrimo isn’t help. There’s a wider issue of decentralization online that is not unique to NaNoWriMo, and you’ve probably noticed it in every online community you’re in.


The 2022 digital detox

I mentioned it in posts last year, but my holiday break wasn’t any old break. I took the three and half days at my parents’ house to disconnect from all social media and news and do literally anything else.

To be honest, the digital detox was the best part of my 11-day holiday break.

I’ve mentioned this before, but over the past few years I’ve had a problem with constantly checking in for new content online, always looking for the newest dopamine fix. That fix never lasts long, which means the hunt continues for the next big fix. There’s always another thing to be found. And another. And another.

I was doing this even in my supposed relaxing time. Even when I was having fun in my interactions, there was always an inner fear of missing something new, not being the first to find out something. FOMO, but for everything digital. It became a nightmare and the exact opposite of relaxing. It’s strange how zoning out can have the opposite effect.

Any attempts to improve my relationship with the internet and being the first to know everything required a hard reset, so I used the holiday break at my parents’ house in the middle of nowhere to perform that hard reset. The rules: no Twitter, no Discord, no news, no other social media. I removed Twitter and Discord from my home screen and replaced them with more productive pursuits (Duolingo, the weather). I didn’t go hardcore and uninstall the apps altogether so I would have a nuclear option if needed.

The purists might say that this wasn’t a pure digital detox since I still let myself use my phone and other electronics, but something strange happened.


Charlotte Pokemon regionals, or how I got gud in two weeks

I’ve played in Silph tournaments since PVP came out, where I’ve consistently reached Ace since season 2. I dabble in Go Battle League but have never tried to reach Legend for two reasons: one, because GBL is a commitment and I have other hobbies, and two, I strongly prefer pick six formats and chatting with my opponents over malding alone at pocket monster battles.

After going 1-2 in Orlando with zero practice and 2-2 in Knoxville with only a little practice, I had almost a whole month to prepare for Charlotte. Even though Toxapex was my MVP in Knoxville (and I felt justified with the rise of double fairy teams), it was also very hard to build around. I ditched my neon Bastiodon the week before Charlotte for a team of Medicham, Galarian Stunfisk, shadow Alolan Ninetales, Lickitung, Noctowl, and Lanturn.

The end result? 4-2 and finishing one win short of my stacked group’s lower bracket semifinals. That’s a significant improvement so let’s talk about the three big things that went into it.