Yeaulonne Waters, a huge Kansas City Chiefs fan, met her future fiance, Sean, while trolling people on Twitter one night

Yeaulonne Waters, a huge Kansas City Chiefs fan, met her future fiance, Sean, while trolling people on Twitter one night

“Kansas City had just beat the Raiders, so I was looking for Raiders fans to troll,” said Waters, who lives in southern Virginia. “I came across a tweet that I responded to, and come to find out that was my man’s best friend. My fiance responded to a tweet and we followed each other.”

That was 2016. Later, in 2019, Sean DMed Waters to ask for some personal advice. An online relationship transpired from there. In , she traveled 1,300 miles to spend Thanksgiving with his family.

“I went back home until . And I was only supposed to stay for three weeks, and now we are getting . Shoutout to Twitter, his best friend and the Chiefs beating the Raiders!” Waters said with a laugh.

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Considering all the personal connections that Waters has made on the platform ? not just Sean, but other friends as well ? she’s “truly upset” about its uncertain future.

“I’m part of several different Twitter communities: NFL Twitter, Black Twitter, ‘Law & Order’ Twitter, ‘One Chicago’ Twitter,” she said. “I’ve met so many people on here, including some of my closest friends.”

“Internet friends” have historically had a bad rap ? there’s a lingering belief that a friendship is only valid if it’s established “in real life” ? but Waters said her online connections are as strong as any bonds she’s made in person.

Many feel that way. As one essayist wrote on Medium in 2018, “for many members of marginalized communities, including . women, people of color, disabled folks, LGBTQI+ identifying individuals and the chronically ill, online spaces can be a rare and incredibly impactful, even life-saving sanctuary.”

“My friends on Twitter and I have laughed through hard times. We laugh, we cry. They have been there in my happiest times and my saddest times,” she said. “I feel like there’s so many issues we’ve had an impact on because of Twitter, and getting rid of this app is like getting rid of a part of me.”

“I’m not a nostalgic person to begin with, so I’m not going to shed any tears if and when a very bad website goes away,” Ma said. “If anyone knows the value of Twitter, it’s clearly la fuente original me. But I’m not sure that outweighs the harm of platforming the worst people on earth.”

His spouse feels a little differently. “Em is more nostalgic and will miss having a venue to yell about ‘The Bachelor,’” Ma said.

Paige Savino is of two minds over the platform’s possible collapse: She’s sad, indifferent, but mostly trying to resist the doomsday narrative on her Twitter feed.

“I have connected with a lot of great people, including my husband, over Twitter. But many of us have connected outside of the Twittersphere,” she said. “It’s disappointing to watch the collapse of Twitter, but my friendships won’t end – even if the platform does.”

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