After four years I’m falling out of love with Twitter a little bit and it saddens me. When I first signed up, it was as a way to escape the mundanity of living with someone whose conversation bored me to a stroke. I had a small group of friends who made (and still make) me laugh ’til my tummy hurt but felt I needed more, and unsurprisingly, knew Dover wasn’t ever going to be the place I’d find it. Unless I wanted to spend my days with Running Keith, the local weirdo (his impression of Pokemon’s Pikachu IS LOLS).
Within a few months of joining I’d ended the aforementioned relationship from Dullsville, landed my first journalism internship, moved to London and found a whole new plethora of people whom I considered to be my sort.
I felt at home.
I felt comfy.
I could be silly. Yes, silly! I’d write something and not have half my home town correcting me or adding an earth shatteringly hilarious ‘LOL’ underneath it. Or have my mum come home from town and say ‘I saw so-and-so earlier, they said you’re talking about vaginas on Facebook again’.
I made work contacts.
I found the person I, one day, hope to marry (thanks to a mutual-first-Twitter-now-real-life-friend)
And still even now, I come across (not like that) new people every day whom make me all jolly. Or if sat on a particularly hot train I click on to see a photo of a seal riding a skateboard, my mood’s lifted. It can be totally brilliant and a teeny, tiny dose of social interaction that I need to get me going.
All of that aside, recently (and there’s no other suitable word for it), I’ve found it ‘aggy’. Everyone’s angry. Which makes me angry. Or catty. Or snidey. Or retweeting what I consider to be wholly inappropriate photos of dead bodies.
It used to be the case that just the jokes were inappropriate. That you’d wince but favourite them all the same. They were on the cusp of being rocky, but you wouldn’t get away with saying anything similar on Facebook so they were hilarious. And really, they weren’t all that bad. Nowadays, I feel more and more like scrolling down my (ordinarily pretty tame) feed will have me wincing, not at a Karen Matthews quip, but at a photo of a hanging dog or the corpses of innocent civilians in Gaza. And, while I appreciate media shouldn’t shy away or censor atrocities, I don’t need to see it while I’m eating my fruit and yogurt at 8am so I can spend the next twenty minutes worrying about how on earth I can become more involved in both Amnesty International AND the RSPCA. And probably Save The Pissing Donkeys And Their Wonky Hooves while I’m at it.
I tend to keep my follower count reasonably low and block anyone who bothers me pretty sharpish, best way really. In turn, I haven’t had any troll-y hassle since I worked at LOOK magazine and a bloke hounded me and a co-worker, threatening to follow us home. He must have really fucking hated peplum skirts and high street fashion, s’all I can presume. Sadly though, I live with someone who has a follower count of 142k and OH LORD social media can be a car crash when people with an I.Q lower than 7 have access to a keyboard. Greg only has to tweet ‘grass is green’ and someone, someone will respond with a way in which he’s incorrect. Or a twat. Or a dickhead. Or a ginger prick. And yes he can be a twat and a dickhead and a ginger prick but that’s for me to call him. Last night he complained about poor service at a fast food chain and the responses were *laughable.
*kick yourself in the box painful
“I’m sure the people of Gaza feel sorry for you #firstworldproblems”
“I’m surprised you’ve got a girlfriend if you take her to eat there”
“OH LOOK AT YOU BEING HORRIBLE ABOUT PEOPLE WORKING ON MINIMUM WAGE. #UNFOLLOWED”
And my favourite:
“Not bothering to reply to a charity that requested your help is bad service! (retweet THAT one)”
Now, the tediousness of Greg’s tweets are a running joke in our house as it is. He has to keep them extremely friendly and basic with lots of exclamation marks just to reduce the likelihood of him offending anyone/ending up in The Daily Mail sidebar of shame, and if it wasn’t for the fact I’m about to be the mother of his baby I wouldn’t follow him. And last night really pissed me off. One, teetering-on-irked opinion and he was suddenly Putin. The tweet regarding his lack of response to charity was the final nail in my angry, pregnant coffin and demonstrated perfectly why certain people need to stay away from social media. I totally understood the tweeter’s frustration, it must be awful to volunteer for a cause close to your heart and feel as though you’re getting nowhere, but bowling in and launching your fury at someone who gets, I would guess, 100 charity RT requests a day is unnecessary. And guys, I hate to break it to you, NO-ONE CARES ABOUT CHARITY RETWEETS. Very few are beneficial. And just to state, prior to people jumping down my throat (see? Already covering myself) I work in social media so yes I do know what I’m talking about. For once.
There’s no particular point to this blog post… I’m not about to go cold turkey on Twitter (I think I’d get the sweats) or make my account private, I’m just a bit ‘urgh’ with it all. Let’s take it back to when Twitter wasn’t a big clusterfuck of arguments or anger or horrid photos or abuse. Let’s go back to thinking ‘bloody HELL this person should do stand-up!’. And let’s all attempt to locate our sense of humour or stick to Facebook. That would be great wouldn’t it?
Yes, yes it would.