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Twitter Is Ten, So Here's a Timely Reminder That the First Ever Tweet Fucking Sucked

The first ever tweet was a monolith to what we've come from and what we've become. The first ever tweet also sucked.

Wow: ten years, can you believe it. Hell of a decade, hell of a ride. Hey, though: The first ever tweet fucking sucked. It sucked. It was trash. It sucked.

just setting up my twttr

— Jack (@jack)21 March 2006

I mean what is that. Look at the way the word "Twitter" is composed here: no capital T, no i, no e, in fact entirely devoid of vowels and vowel sounds, just a bunch of Ts with a w in between, and you have to pull the boy Jack Dorsey to one side here and say, "Jack," say, "Jack, respect to your product, but what are you doing launching like this without a thorough brand image and a confused slurry of consonants instead of a clear and defined product name," leaning closer and saying, "The first thing—I mean, the absolute first thing, day one, is figure out your brand identity and in-house style guide, I mean, this is extremely basic shit." Point two: Selecting the username "Jack" is extremely boring and dull when you had literally every possible username available to you, from @beyonce to @69_liker_420_fuckmaster. Three: The fact that the style guide has changed from "twttr" to "Twitter," and yet Twitter still doesn't have an edit button to actually change this tweet from "twttr" to "Twitter" shows that one of Twitter's most vital and fundamental flaws has been evident for a decade now, and it still hasn't been fixed. Four: The word "twttr," picked free of vowels like a carrion sucking meat from the bones from a skeleton long dead, is the most 2006 start-up name ever. Five: Remember when we used to write tweets in that sort of faux third-person way, like we used to do Facebook statuses, too? Preface everything with a little "is," a little name-and-handle update of what we're doing, when we were all still friends with MySpace Tom. Heady days. If you're a desperate and panicking third-year college student in need of a last-minute up-all-night dissertation topic and wasting time on VICE dot com as some foolish distraction, do it on in the transformation we have all slowly undergone from 2006-era third person status updates to the sarcasm 'n' fuming at @ASOS_HeretoHelp that we have now. Ten years of human change. Ten years of evolution. Ten years. So many years. The first tweet still really fucking sucked, though, and I'm furious about it.



just setting up my twttr

— Jack (@jack)21 March 2006

Look at it, stare into it. It's a wonder anyone ever sent a tweet after that, isn't it? Nothing about that tweet says, "Join me on this endeavor, this epic adventure in wasting time." Nothing about that says, "Join twttr." The first ever tweet was so dry, so underwhelming, a little more than a staff announcement at an empty supermarket.

But then I suppose there is something magical in the fact that history can be so blithely made with a few touches of buttons—that @jack could never have known that this zero retweet, zero fav-worthy inverse masterpiece was to be looked back upon with as much reverence as the moon landing—and to that end, the first tweet didn't need to be good. It just needed to be first. Consider this footage of a train pulling into a station, from 1896, one of the first movies ever recorded:

That's shit. Trash. Supposedly the train pulling into shot used to scare ye olde time audiences, who would yell and run from their chairs, the idiot fools. Fools would would never live to see The Godfather, or Terminator 2. Imagine what Terminator 2 would do to audiences in the 1890s. It would fry their tiny brains to mush. And in many ways, @jack's tweet about setting up a twttr—our own personal "Arrival of a Train"—needed to be exactly as basic as it was: too trailblazing, too hot a take about how liking Adele is actually extremely political, too viral a photo of someone rearranging items to spell out "DICKCUNT," and we'd all die, unable to cope with these hyper-hot future tweets. We had to start from nothing to become something. The first ever tweet—shit in every conceivable way—is a monolith-like statue to what we came from, and what we have become. "Just setting up my twttr" is the monkey from which all this mess evolved.

Twitter is ten today, and its invention has been—as a lot of people are apt to tell you—more or less a good thing. There is the Arab Spring, the fact that it has made us all woke. How it has slowly evolved into the most up-to-date news source on the planet. How people are meeting boyfriends, girlfriends, wives, and husbands on this thing. Getting jobs. When I moved to London seven years ago and knew literally nobody, Twitter was one of my primary sources of making friends, and we are almost—almost—at a point where admitting that isn't deeply, deeply embarrassing. Pretty much every half-decent career break I have ever had is due to the website. I also have a blue checkmark on there now that means when I complain to any companies, they get a little notification. There are something like 6,000 tweets a second sent today, 500 million a day. 200 billion tweets per year. On the whole: Twitter good. But we need to get on our knees and remember where we came from, pay service to our archaic biblical text. We came from a really bad tweet.

Follow Joel on Twitter.