The Only Way Is Twitter?

“And you can say what you want but you want change my mind, I’ll feel the same about you.” ~ Texas

Or, as defined by my dictionary

Twitter (v): to utter a succession of small, tremulous sounds, as a bird. To talk lightly and rapidly, esp.of trivial matters. (n): Social media site

 

The song choice? Bite me. The word ‘twitter’ doesn’t turn up in that many songs that I’m aware of. Besides, I think it’s perfect. I love Twitter, nothing will ever change that. And it sums up the annoying, ‘I’m always right and I know better than you’ brigade pretty well too.

And they are the main reason I am here. To say that for a bit I won’t be here. Or,at least, I’m going to be a bit quieter. Yes, I agree that people announcing they are ‘having a Twitter break’ is a bit wanky but if I don’t explain and just go quiet, there are people who will worry and think I’ve ‘done something stupid’. That being the universal diplomatic term for having topped oneself. However it’s also got to the stage where if I even mention that a lot of people follow me and, seemingly, care for me, I get accused of showing off.

So, in essence Twitter, it’s me and it’s you. I am tired of not being able to say certain things, debate certain issues, or talk to certain people without being leapt on. I am tired of things that I see that are so breathtakingly arrogant, cruel, ignorant, bigoted (I won’t go on, you get the gist) that it’s grinding me down. I want my time on Twitter primarily to be fun. As I say on my about page on here “I live in London, work in Law Enforcement, and tweet a great deal of nonsense.” Well I’m missing my nonsense. Twitter is great for so many things; news, debates, bad jokes, sometimes even good jokes. I get a great deal of pleasure and information from being on Twitter. But when it regularly puts me in a bad mood as opposed to a good one? Yeah, something is definitely wrong with that picture.

So, without all being too melodramatic about, I’m going offski for a bit. Pleae don’t do the whole weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth, I won’t be gone long. I might even be back by the time you are reading this. But I need to get certain things straight in my head and currently the only way to do that is not Twitter.

Also, for those of you who will get the reference, if you’re thinking I’m quiet, just think of me with a sign reading “I ATEN’T DEAD.”

 

Princess

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Twitter Is Outrageous

“She’s outrageous, scandalous, the way she rocks is too much” ~ Lionel Ritchie

Or, as defined by my dictionary

Outrageous (adj): unusual and shocking, shocking and socially or morally unacceptable

 

“Twitter is outrageous” is exactly what a Twitter friend said to me in a message recently. Went to say how he (yes, it was a boy, quiet at the back!) found it a hotbed of perpetual flirting. Now, I’m personally not so sure how much of Twitter is flirting vs politics vs religion vs sport vs tv vs trolling on all of the previous topics, but it certainly got me thinking.

 

I flirt on Twitter. I flirt in real life. I flirt when I don’t even realise I’m doing it. I walked away from a conversation with someone a few months ago and was complimented by a friend on how well I’d been flirting with the guy. I still maintain I was just making conversation! But my point being that for me, as for many, it is a perfectly innocent and harmless way of communicating, be it via social media or otherwise.

 

Then there’s the flirting that really is flirting. Now in real life you don’t to be privy to these chats between a potential couple so this is where it becomes all about Twitter. I have seen  some frankly salacious chats between people on Twitter on the open timeline that leave me massively queasy. Do we need to know? Really? And in this I include tweets from people that I know are engaged in similar practises in real life, so why do it on Twitter too? Is this some social media version of the thrill from having sex outside and possibly getting caught? (No, I never understood that one either). Take it to the world of private, direct messages, please, and do us all a favour. Of course, that can also go a bit wrong when you tweet something you meant to DM. but at least it means generally the rest of us are unaware of exactly what you like and are getting off on.

 

There is a dangerous side to this. As we know, you can be whoever you want, real or otherwise, male or female, straight or gay, married or not, from the anonymity offered by the internet. And then we stray into the world where people get hurt. The lovely @nosweetnothings kindly let me link her blog post on this subject here. She writes much more eloquently than I could about these dangers and pitfalls. So just think about it. As she says, what is your kick is somebody else’s kick in the stomach.

 

As always, am interested in your thought and opinions so please drop me a line in a comment box-shaped postcard.

 

Princess

ps.all names (bar the lovely NSN) have been left out of this to protect the guilty

Do We Talk Too Much?

“Everybody’s talkin’ at me. I can’t hear a word they’re sayin’. Only the echoes of my mind.” The Beautiful South

Or, as defined by my dictionary:

Talk (vb): to express one’s thoughts or feelings by means of spoken words; to exchange ideas or opinions about something.

 

I’m on Twitter. I tweeted 25,000 times in a year. I’m clearly a person who likes to talk. The whole idea of Twitter is communication; what you are doing, where you are going, debate about current affairs, news updates, and the inevitable #XFactor chat (Le sigh). It is, in effect, an online version of an office, a common room, a pub. A place for debate and chat between like-minded (or not) individuals. We are human beings, we need to communicate. John Donne was absolutely spot on when he wrote “No man is an island, entire of itself“.

However I have also been thinking; do we talk about things too much?

For example, I know a woman (not on Twitter, if you are wondering) who articulates what appears to be her every thought. She doesn’t specifically talk to me, it’s more a stream of consciousness I am aware of when in her vicinity. I know about her home life, her husband, her dilemma of being too hot or too cold, what she should eat for lunch, whether she should phone her sister not, her dilemmas (myriad) over the next course of action on a case. I have been known to put headphones in just so I can get something done myself.

It’s not the noise factor I particularly object to, though sometimes a bit of silence would be nice, it’s the over-sharing. I don’t feel it’s appropriate for me to know the intimate (or not) details of her evening at home. She is an extreme example but taking to my other great sphere of communication, Twitter, I regularly see: break ups, arguments (personal), and serious over-sharing of the bedroom & bathroom variety. And sometimes, just sometimes, I wonder if it is all really necessary.

Do we really all need to hear about what X said to Y, the details (and I mean intimate) of your last doctors/dentist/hospital appointment? If your other half was a pain last night, is right we hear all about how selfish/ignorant/uncaring they are? I know that communication is an essential part of us but surely there needs to be a balance?

Is there sometimes value in a stiff upper lip, putting a brave face and getting on with life? Is it sometimes healthier to do that? Having a “stiff upper lip” has always seemed to me a very upper class, even aristocratic trait. Particularly English and generally more predominantly male. These are my views, I haven’t conducted any kind of scientific study into the matter. But there are times when I think it is a trait to be emulated.

For instance, how hard would it be to say “I’m ok, thanks” in reply to a question about how you are? You could even be really daring and say you were good, instead of the over-spill of detail about your work problems, relationship woes, and incipient health worries. It’s not necessarily about truth in these circumstances, it’s sociolinguistics, a way of establishing contact with other people. It’s the same as talking about the weather so why not try appreciating the lingering Autumnal sunshine, rather than complaining about the cold?

So what do you think? Are you a chronic (over?) sharer or a stiff upper lipper? Do you like hearing all the intimate details of other lives and woes or do you sometimes wish everyone would just shut up? Thoughts on a comment box-shaped postcard, please.

 

Princess

My own personal caveat: there are mental health issues, life events, accidents, all so horrific that counselling is the only way. We suffer accidents, witness atrocities, have vile things done to us or our loved ones.  Then I firmly believe in the power of talking and listening as part of the way to help us heal.