I haven’t had a random babble for a while, so here’s one.
This post will automatically appear on Twitter where the title might cause a recursive loop that ends space and time. So if the universe is gone when you wake up tomorrow, you’ll know who was responsible. Be honest, you’d have blamed me anyway.
Obelix, who works in the stockroom, was aghast when I told him I’d joined. ‘You? You’re old. What are you doing on there?’ Then we compared follower numbers and he used language that could have curdled all the milk. Apparently he’s been there rather longer than a few weeks.
I don’t understand the obsession with followers. If you like what someone writes, you follow them and if you don’t like it, you don’t. The number doesn’t really matter. I do have some of those slave traders following me – the ones who send messages saying ‘Give me money and I will have my 10,000 fake accounts follow you’. Why? It would be like talking to a horde of zombies. Nobody monitors those accounts. It would be like giving a book reading to the coma ward – and paying someone to let you.
There are plenty of people my age and even older using Twitter. So I can have sensible conversations that don’t include ‘yo’ and ‘bae’ (WTF is ‘bae’ anyway? To me it means British Aerospace Engineer and they can’t all be going out with vacuous youngsters. They’re engineers. They never go out).
The funniest tweet I’ve seen so far was someone saying they’d been blocked by Frankie Boyle for being offensive. Irony overload!
I’m afraid I also have non-sensible conversations. If I mention ‘gunsliding’ and a certain Tweeter reads this, I bet his face turns red. Yes, the weird stories and absurdities carry over very nicely in that medium. Especially when I get a good picture to caption and have had a few glasses of imagination juice.
One of the strangest parts of Twitter is ‘blocking’. You can block someone so they can no longer read your tweets. How do you berate someone you’ve just deafened? I haven’t blocked anyone. Someone blocked me before I even knew they existed, which I think was impressive. I’d ask what it was that prompted them to pre-emptively hate me, but they’re not listening.
The ones who repost the same stuff every few hours and especially those who post those stupid Photoshop images of fake diseases can be muted. They can still see you but you don’t have continuous nonsense scrolling up the screen. Honestly, who believes that a sunflower centre photoshopped into an eye is any kind of real thing? I have a lot of medical microbiology books here. If they want I’ll send them images of real stuff.
The ‘like’ thing I see as a sort of ‘I’ve read it, I’ll reply later’ confirmation. Lets the other person know you aren’t ignoring them.
The only downside is how fast it is. The information stream is continuous and I’m only seeing a few hours in the evening. I’m missing the DrinkAware tweets, with which I used to amuse myself by adding drink-related images. Maybe they’ve blocked me, I haven’t checked. I’m surprised they let me torment them for as long as I did.
Overall, Twitter is like being at a big party. You wander around and get snippets of conversations and join in if it catches your interest. Sometimes you get into a one-on-one conversation but it’s not private. You’re still at the party and passers-by can join in too. If you want a private conversation you can go to direct messaging, the equivalent of hiding in the kitchen. However, you can hide in the kitchen and be at the party at the same time!
I do have to limit my time on there. It’s Procrastination Heaven for anyone with something else to do. I have to finish books and now have an April deadline for those little chairs I promised to make for knitted rats from Thailand. The wood is aged enough (they will be made from plum tree wood and jute seating entirely from scratch and will have proper carpentry – it’s 1/16th scale, I can do that). Then there are all the other part-made models, but book and chairs must come first.
I didn’t think I’d take to Twitter. I thought the 140-character limit would barely give me a chance to say hello, cursed as I am with virulent verbosity. I do like it – and it forces me to be succint. Might help boost the short stories and even help with the novels. I’ve had to dump whole chapters in the past because of ramblings and over-explaining. Succinctness training is long overdue.
Naturally, the ramblings will continue here. With every line, the post box gets bigger. I could ramble to infinity here and one day I might well do that.
Not on Twitter though. There I am in training to not babble incessantly.
I can hear the collective sigh of relief from here.
Update: It showed up on Twitter and spacetime didn’t end. Maybe next time.