I built a name and career on Twitter. I'm worried Elon Musk will destroy opportunities for creatives like me.

For many, Twitter is a distraction from work. But for me, it is work. Without it, I wouldn't have a career as a TV critic and broadcaster. 

It not only has helped me get every job I've had but also has been responsible for pretty much every commission, including this article after an Insider editor saw me tweeting about my fears of what could happen to Twitter after Elon Musk's acquisition sparked an exodus.

For people interested in entering journalism, Twitter provides a network of pretty much every single editor and journalist in the country.

Their tweets can tell you which topics they are interested in and whether they're looking for commissions. They can follow you to see your track record and interests. This is to say nothing about how good it is for following stories, finding sources, and getting tips.

Twitter is great for countless other creatives, too. The comedian and TV writer Mollie Goodfellow last week said that it gave her the opportunity to present her work in front of people in the industry.

For me, it was a platform to find my voice and build an audience.

I always aspired to have a career in TV journalism and broadcasting, but a dyslexia diagnosis at 20 made me doubt I could get into the industry

While I can write fine in the first person, anything in the third person — the voice of nearly all written reporting — can come out convoluted and, at times, indecipherable. My sentences would rarely have commas in them, either, since I barely grasped how to use them properly.

Feeling this would stop me from ever becoming a journalist, I pursued careers in marketing and running social media accounts.

I kept a Twitter account dedicated to writing about TV as a side project: tweeting occasional reviews on a blog and providing a public service of announcing whenever there was a dog on a news channel

This helped me land some of my first commissions, mostly first-person articles, which often expanded on views that I'd tweeted about. I would pitch according to what I had seen and set interest alight on Twitter as shows had gone out, even linking to my tweets to illustrate the interest.

I also built an audience by noticing and tweeting surreal TV moments, like when a Labrador called Bounce appeared on BBC News with a chyron listing his job title as "good boy," or when the "This Morning" host Amanda Holden asked the astronaut Tim Peake whether he had stolen a piece of the moon, forcing him to clarify he'd just got back from the International Space Station, not the moon.

I now get tips about bizarre clips from my followers. A recent favorite was when a source messaged "all fart and no sh*t — said about Liz Truss just now on BBC Radio 4," alerting me to how the then-prime minister had just been described on the UK's flagship speech radio station.

Twitter allowed me to hone a niche of capturing viral TV moments, which helped me land a job at BuzzFeed in 2014

In the five years I worked there, I stumbled into a form of tweeting that I still do now as a freelancer, essentially treating it like a wire service for the good, the bad, and the downright bizarre in media land.

These days, I report things the moment they happen in easy-to-follow threads, from how TV channels were reacting to the Queen's death to the fallout from a BBC News employee accidentally typing, "Manchester United are rubbish," across the screen.

The thread I'm most proud of is when I sat down to watch every episode of "The Great British Bake Off" to count how often the host Paul Hollywood shook hands with contestants, to settle whether tweeters were right that there was "Hollywood Handshake" inflation.

It turned out, he was shaking more and more. A professor worked out a formula for how often it was happening, and someone else jokingly worked out that by season 38 of "Bake Off," we would be approaching 830 handshakes an episode.

These contributions came from other people on Twitter who saw my thread.

Beyond my following, I use Twitter to sense how much the wider public is reacting to a new TV story.

My tweets show editors and producers what I'm knowledgeable about and have led to invitations to go on radio and TV.

I'm worried Elon Musk's ownership of Twitter could end the ecosystem that helped people like me thrive

Despite its dark atmosphere at times and changes like tweets being lengthened to a maximum of 280 characters, Twitter's always been a place where people could develop their own audiences.

If Musk introduces too many features or alarms people by how he introduces them (the sudden arrival and departure of the "official" label don't fill me with confidence), I fear it will lead to enough people quitting to bring it down.

No other social media platform can replicate Twitter. I tried Mastodon and found it thoroughly confusing.

TikTok is a great space for journalists. But it doesn't provide accounts' contributions in chronological order, meaning that you can't get updates from your whole network during a breaking or developing story.

The saying goes that you never know what you've got until it's gone.

It can take time for creatives to build a name for themselves. It'd be a shame if the next generation were robbed of the same opportunity I had.

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