January 15, 2023

Imagine you’re a fan of a professional basketball team. You’ve followed the team for more than a decade, been through ups and downs and, while the team never won a title they were fun to watch and you made a lot of friends, bonding over your shared love of the team.

A view inside the United Center. The stadium is packed and the game is about to tip off.

Every now and then a rowdy fan would fan would interrupt the game, often more frequently in specific sections of the arena, but most the time they’d get shouted down by the rest of the crowd, or sometimes be banned from attending games by team security.

Then, one day, a tech billionaire buys the team. This guy knows jack shit about basketball. He starts trading away your favorite players or just outright cutting them, all as a cost saving measure. The team quickly becomes no fun to watch.

On top of that, he starts unbanning the assholes who would ruin the game with their shitty behavior, mostly because he’s an asshole himself. And the team is so bad now that there’s fewer fans to shout them down.

But you still go to the games even though your friends stopped going and tell you the team sucks and that the team is owned by a literal N*zi and that you should feel bad for still being a fan.

They tell you about their new favorite team, a minor league team that plays in a smaller arena, sure, but still has a passionate and growing fan base. Like they won’t shut up about it. So you decide to get tickets to a game but you feel like you’re betraying your favorite team.

You go to the game and it’s quickly apparent that no one on the team is over six feet tall. There’s signs near the court that read NO DUNKING. When you cheer for a good play, some people turn in their seat to shush you. We don’t cheer like that here, they say.

So you go back to your old team and it fucking still sucks. The owner decided to revoke your season ticket so you have to buy single game tickets and your seat is considerably worse. There’s a pole blocking your view. You never realized how many poles this arena has.

Anyway that’s what it’s like to be on Twitter now. Thank you for coming to my TED Talk.

I'm Mike Aparicio, Principal Design Systems Engineer at Turquoise Health. I'm interested in helping companies large and small improve collaboration between design and engineering through the use of design systems. I specialize in creating custom CSS frameworks that empower engineering teams to get from concept to production quickly, while writing little to no CSS themselves. I write about web design and development, video games, pop culture, and other things I find interesting. I live in the Chicago area with my wife, three sons, and two dogs.

You can find me on Twitter and most other places as @peruvianidol.

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