Looking for a Twitter replacement? Here are 5 suggestions. – The Philadelphia Inquirer

Here’s a list for Philadelphians of places to go — online and in-person — instead of Twitter.
Twitter is rapidly changing under its new Elon Musk ownership. Thursday evening, rumors that the social media platform was getting closer to crashing prompted users to write potential goodbyes in case things disappeared.
The app is still hanging around, but users are scrambling to find alternative methods to communicate. The hashtags #TwitterOFF, #Twittershutdown, and #TwitterMigration are trending across the United States and Google searches for alternate platforms, like Mastadon, are on the rise.
» READ MORE: Imposter accounts had a heyday last week on Twitter. How will Philadelphia accounts respond?
Here’s a list of places to go — online and in-person — instead of Twitter.
Young people are relying increasingly on visual-led platforms instead of Twitter. In fact, Pew research says the majority of U.S. teens don’t use Twitter at all. Instead, their time on BeReal, Instagram, and TikTok is growing.
In Philadelphia, locally run Instagram and TikTok accounts cater to a range of interests. From public art accounts like @phillypublicart to local rapper 2rare, both apps have a little bit of something for everyone.
It would be nearly impossible to create an expansive list, but here are a few Philly accounts to get you started:
On Instagram
@whenwherewhatphilly: focused on Philly events
@muralarts: highlighting murals throughout town
@streetsdept: a Philly-based blogger exploring public spaces
On TikTok
@elijahhh47: a local educator and activist with a large following
@2rare: Philadelphia rapper who gained popularity on the app
@thelinecooks: culinary tips account run by two local cooks
@philadelphiajewel: a jewelry appraiser who went viral showcasing pieces
Reddit is a popular network that acts as a message board forum. Users can subscribe and participate in subreddits — category-based subgroups. Each subreddit has its own moderators in charge. Those moderators act as administrators and can determine the rules along with who can enter and who might get kicked out of the group. Posts can be upvoted or downvoted (like the recent thumbs-down feature on Twitter).
Philadelphia’s main subreddit, r/Philadelphia has more than 434,000 subscribers. It’s a place to share news links, talk about neighborhoods, and ask for advice. The platform has thousands of other subreddits users can join depending on their interests. For instance, the Eagles fans have their own subreddit with 237,000 followers. The 76ers, Phillies, Flyers, and Union fans also have dedicated subreddits.
Discord and Mastodon are platforms based on separate servers that allow users to communicate with each other. Discord can be likened to Slack or Microsoft Teams. It allows users to exchange voice messages, texts, calls, and files. In contrast, Mastodon is touted as an open-source app that’s like a “less toxic Twitter.” It kind of works like an email account. You pick your server when you sign up and can chat and interact with others based on your interests.
The internet can be a great place to connect with and meet new people. But it can also become a dark, toxic sludge fest. A popular meme on Twitter consisted of people telling each other to “touch grass,” implying they’re spending too much time online. Know Your Meme says the phrase became increasingly popular throughout 2021. But you don’t have to take this one literally. Any sort of time outdoors can help combat all that blue light. Amid rumors of Twitter’s demise, users joked about finding peace and happiness without feeling tethered to the app anymore. So maybe just… go outside?
Phones are forbidden at Hop Sing Laundromat, the quirky cash-only Chinatown cocktail bar. There’s no internet and you better not even think about taking a selfie. Hop Sing opened in 2012, and its strict policies gained national attention. House rules include no phones, no flip-flops, sandals, or shorts. Going to the movies or a theater production will also get you closer to a no-phone zone.
Swap out your typing hands for a tactile activity like ceramics or candle making. Throughout the Philadelphia area, there are classes offered for performing arts, fitness, arts and crafts, and cooking. With the new year approaching, it could be the perfect time to take up something new — maybe glassblowing?
And remember: if you miss tweeting too much, you can always try your hand at bird watching.