On April 1, Elon Musk will be robbing me and my fellow verified Twitter users of the one thing in life that makes us special – the fancy blue check marks next to our names.
That’s right, for years now, that little blue mark meant I was someone. Not necessarily someone anyone has ever heard of, but definitely someone. A person of note, a living, breathing brand unto myself.
Could the April 1 blue-check-pocalypse be an elaborately cruel April Fool’s prank by the unfunniest internet troll alive? Perhaps. But Musk is as reliable as one of his self-driving Teslas, so we must assume the worst.
A blue check mark on Twitter helped me sleep sound and proud
Every night before bed I would gaze at that blue check mark on my Twitter profile and smile.
“You did it, Rex Huppke,” I’d say, referring to myself in the third person, because that’s the sort of thing verified Twitter users can do.
Now, tragically, my bedtime ritual of self-affirmation will end. I will lie awake at night, restless in my newfound “nobody” status, imagining how to go about life as a normal, not-notable person.
Musk’s cruel April Fool’s move will open the door to Twitter impersonators
Musk announced that as of April 1, Twitter will begin plucking the blue check marks from users whose identities have been verified unless they pay for a service called Twitter Blue. The same holds true for corporations. The process Twitter used to make sure journalists, celebrities, authors and brands are who they claim to be will be gone, replaced by a pay-to-play model that opens the door to all manner of impersonation and chaos.
As much as I have cherished my Twitter verification – often finding ways to sneak it into casual conversation at elite cocktail parties and touting it on a bumper sticker on the Tesla I recently pushed off a cliff in protest – there was always one thing I swore I would not do to protect it: Pay Elon Musk $8 a month.
That’s the cost of an individual Twitter Blue subscription. For corporations, it’s a hefty $1,000 a month.
I’m too notable to pay Elon Musk to call me notable
The very fact that I, according to past-Twitter management, am a notable person means I could never do anything as norm-core and pathetic as paying to pretend I’m notable. #Harumph
No, this notable person doesn’t pay for notoriety. I earn it the old-fashioned way – by believing I’m notable because a social media site that largely involves people yelling at each other told me so.
My blue-check-mark designation on Twitter has brought me untold fame and riches, as I’m sure it has done for all verified users. But I refuse to value it at a penny more than none dollars. and I’m confident most of my fellow blue-checks will share that valuation.
Me and my fellow Twitter blue-checks will find a way to get by
The loss of this status symbol will be difficult, I know. It’s like having a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame erased, if that star was imaginary and wholly irrelevant to most people on earth and “Hollywood” was not a real place.
But I’m confident that with therapy and narcissism, we, the formerly notable Twitter users of the world, will adjust to a life where strangers pay to impersonate us on a platform that increasingly abhors truth.
Unverified will become the new verified!
And the blue Twitter check marks will reaffirm the old saying: “There’s a sucker born every minute, and two to take ’em.”
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