The Inevitable Post About Twitter

It had to happen. Pretty well everyone reading this has found their way here from a certain well-known social networking site, and so it’s time I acknowledged you, and it.

But first, some history. 

I never saw the point of Facebook to begin with. For years, I sniffed at it and its users as much as any Daily Mail reader.  Only the terminal rubbishness of Friends Reunited, and a desire to nosey at other people’s photos of my own wedding while I was still on my honeymoon, persuaded me to take it at all seriously.  So I signed up, and went through the predictable trawl for schoolfriends, university friends, work colleagues, family members, friends of family members, friends of schoolfriends’ family members, neighbours, and Mary on the checkout in Morrisons.  Having exhausted all of those possibilities, I resorted to adding my ex-husband.  There’s nothing more heartwarming than reading his happy, self-congratulatory tales of how wonderful his life is these days.  He doth protest too much, methinks.

And he isn’t alone in that.  One of my childhood friends seems to have turned into a cross between Lord Sugar, Nigella Lawson, and Wikipedia – or so she would have us all believe.  As soon as one of her friends posts a status update, she can be relied upon to provide an instant response, which is likely to be: a) the benefit of her vastly superior knowledge and experience of Everything In The World Ever; b) a boast about how her five-year-old has just written a doctoral thesis on Ulysses; or c) a photo of a really crap cake that she’s just made.  Surprisingly, the cake pictures are not met with the howls of scorn and derision they deserve, but are always critically acclaimed as only Facebook photos can be (“ur sooooo clever!!!!” “these r amaaaaazin”).  Furthermore, she is one of ‘those’ Facebook friends. You know, the ones who are constantly bombarding you with requests to send them Easter eggs, or harvest their butterfly farm, or work in their brothel in Pimp World.  And no amount of ignoring and declining will ever stem the tide.

You, though, are different.

Twitter is a curious thing. Try explaining it to an elderly relative, and see how far you get before they ask you to start again. (There have, of course, been some notable exceptions to this rule, but sweeping generalisations are always a good idea.)

It was the usual story.  I read an article about Stephen Fry chatting to people on some new social networking site, and naively assumed that all I had to do was join, and he’d be coming round for dinner in no time at all.  Seemed easy enough, and once I’d worked out what the hell this ‘@’ thing meant, it was a matter of moments to send him the invite.  In fact, although he did choose to follow me, I never had so much as a Christmas card in return, so that was that, for a while.  My first impression had been right: Twitter was a pointless, silly fad with no obvious attractions.  I couldn’t even find any of my real life friends to talk to.  I had an inkling that other normal people were out there talking to each other, but I’ve never been one to barge into conversations uninvited, and so I left them all to it and sat quietly in the corner.

But.

I’m not sure how or when it happened, but somehow, eighteen months later, I’ve amassed a group of people who feel an awful lot like friends, even though I’ve never met 99.5% of them, and even though it took me six months to work out whether some of them were male or female.  (That, for me, is one of the best things.  Since many people choose not to include a photograph, or even their name, we talk to each other from the outset as equals, without making assumptions based on superficialities.)  Some are famous; most are not.  We watch TV together; we read the papers together; we drink wine and eat rubbish food together.  In many ways, Twitter is the world’s biggest, squashiest sofa, and I’m proud and happy to share it with you.

There’s more wine in the fridge.  Help yourself.

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~ by somethingblonde on August 2, 2010.

3 Responses to “The Inevitable Post About Twitter”

  1. This is the tweet that first brought you into my Twitter life. To this day, I swear I never received any such suggestion! Still, I’m glad you forced the issue. 😉

  2. Now I feel like you’re stalking me. Have you kept *all* my tweets? 😉

  3. Don’t wear that blouse today *adjusts focus on telescope* wear the other one. The one I like. Shit! Camera 4 in the living room is down.

    “Tony. Deliver the pizza now. Camera 4 is blind. I repeat: Camera 4 is blind!”

    (Worry not. I Googled that tweet last night because I remembered it quite clearly!)

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