But for many journalists and writers, Twitter feels necessary to their job: rather than a place to simply self-aggrandise, many feel it is the only place for them to get new work. After Facebook’s algorithm infamously changed to stop pushing as much content from publishers, many publications and writers found their pieces started to do significantly less web traffic and failed to draw in as large of audiences as a result. Since then, many have turned to Twitter to push articles, finding that the thrashing echo-chamber can actually work well for clicks – even if the number of clicks is still fewer than those from Facebook.
“I’m so reliant on Twitter for work,” says Róisín, an editor based in London. “Whether that’s connecting with other journalists or finding stories or whatever – it would be difficult to leave. But then I also have to weigh that up against the fact that being on the app is super depressing,” she adds.
“I’ve wanted to quit Twitter for over a year, but my publisher doesn’t want me to because being seen to be engaging with readers and reviewers is now part of all writing jobs,” Catherine tells me. “I’m stuck here and it’s the worst – even though it’s demonstrably bad for my mental health,” she says. “I think it’s also bad for societal health in general.”