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.


13 thoughts on “Twitter

  1. How fast it is. Aye. That is why I do not bother with German newspaper comments pages. Youanswer second or third into a thread, come back half an hour later, and there is five hundred bloody sides, and yours could be ANYWHERE.

    To answer individual posts is useless. By the time you have written and posted, another 30 sides have been added while you were not looking.


  2. There are plenty of people my age and even older using Twitter.

    Indeed, LI. I’m some years older than you, and I’m quite an enthusiastic (albeit sporadic) twitterer.

    I’m not at all surprised you have taken to it like a duck to water – I knew you would. There is something very satisfying in being able to get a point across in a few words. It concentrates the mind wonderfully.

    I too get many offers of multiple thousands of followers (for a fee, natch). And like you, my response is “why the fuck would I want thousands of followers who aren’t interested in what I might have to say anyway?”

    What on earth is the point? So you can go down the pub and say: “You know what? I’ve got 50,000 followers on Twitter!”

    “Oooh, I’m ever so impressed!” absolutely nobody will say, meanwhile thinking: “what a twat….”

    It’s funny who you do pick up as a follower, though. I have quite a few e-cig companies, suppliers and aficionados, which is unsurprising really, as I tweet fairly regularly about the subject when it is in the news, but rather more surprising is the number of God-fearin’, gun-totin’, good-ole-boy Americans that follow me. Time I invested in an AK-47 to show solidarity!

    I never worry about the speed with which it scrolls past me, since I only dip into it as and when I feel inclined. Sometimes I’ll stay with it an hour or so, other times five minutes. And that’s one of the beauties of the medium. Unless you are a compulsive twitterer (which I know some are) it’s really a ‘take it or leave it’ situation.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ll check Twitter in my fag break at work and I might have a perusal in the evening to catch Leggy’s bon mots. It can be pretty good for breaking news, too – but only if you’re looking at it, at the time.

      I lost a follower recently, a ‘Tory’ smoker, who was wailing about the plain packaging vote. All I did was ask him if he still intends to vote for a party that is actively persecuting him. Well no, actually some else said he’ll have to hold his nose to vote, and I said, the smell don’t matter when you head’s jammed up your arse … yes, that’s probably when he stopped following me.

      “ya folla?” … Lol


      • There have been a few unfollows. One day, if I find I actually care, I’ll hunt through the list to see who’s left and whether they are fun enough to keep on that list.


  3. To twit to twoo…

    Lots of bleatings in the tweeting world. 140 characters isn’t enough to say something meaningful. Twitter meaningful? I have used it. It’s useful if you want to confirm your own view of the world. Seeking reinforcement of your own prejudices. Lots of followers saying the same stuff that you are tweeting or thinking.

    I’ve not really managed to get into the social media space/arena/stuff. My adult children use it. My son and daughter use Farcebook. My son to discuss various films of an intellectual nature and my daughter uses it as a running dialogue of her life.

    I like to keep myself to myself and I work on the basis that other people get information from me on a “need to know basis”.

    Blogging? Well that’s a different story.


    • Farcebook? You can keep it. No interest whatsoever, even though my four kids, and their kids seem to think it’s an essential part of life.

      It’s useful if you want to confirm your own view of the world. Seeking reinforcement of your own prejudices.

      As for Twitter, the interesting thing is to follow people who represent everything that you reject, so you can disagree with them. I follow a few who are part of the TC movement, partly to keep abreast of their latest lies and partly to admonish them. It doesn’t have to be all people who you agree with. Some will just block you because they can’t cope with any disagreement, but a few will stand and fight (or just ignore you).


      • Hubby likes FB but as far as I’m concerned, it’s ‘can’t be F-Arsed Book’.

        I much prefer blogs even though the name sounds like it should mean ‘turd in a toilet’.


      • I follow a few fakecharities and some MPs and stalk DrinkAware, but none of them respond to my taunts. I’ve been on at the wrong time to catch DrinkAware (the taunts need to be at the top of the thread) which might be why they haven’t blocked me yet. I would take any block by any of them as a badge of honour.


      • Na. I was of the same impression, but we have about 60 re-enactments a year whereby you have to be invited and register, and they ALL use Facefuck to do that.

        Without it, no invite, and no re-enactment events.

        As to “security,” if you set your account correctly ONLY those that are friends can read your comments, details, or contact you.

        Most of the problems with Facefuck come from fucking idiots that do not bother with their security settings and end up inviting Ghengis Kahn, Moussolinni, Pohl Pott and the entire North Korean army combat flower aranging troop to their grannys funeral party.


    • One of my imaginary characters has a Farcebok page. All it does at the moment is re-list these blog posts. I haven’t done much with it for a long time. I also joined LinkedIn a long time ago but just cannot work out how to use it.


      • Heh! Same as that with LinkedIn! I’ve got loads of endorsements for a plethora of skills, but I’ve got no idea what it all means.

        I guess I’m of the wrong generation for all this ‘social meeja’ stuff. It just doesn’t grab me. I’d rather meet up with a friend for a beer and a ciggy and set the world to rights…


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