It has happened. The long list of portents of doom mankind has witnessed gets a little longer. Early man learns how to make weapons, the nuclear bomb is devised, Rupert Murdoch is born, man first discovers masturbation and I… I have… joined Twitter… God help me, what have I done?
Now eh, now then, just woah, hang on a minute. I did not do this out of choice. Whereas I, and obviously I alone, signed up to Twitter my hand was forced. The Journalism course that has sapped up all my time like some metaphorical time sponge (and apparently killed my ability to construct analogies) has made it a rule that students on the Online Journalism course have to sign up to the site that took YouTube’s crown for most morons in one place at one time. I literally had to! Don’t look at me like that, I had to…
I know there’s going to be a fair few of you getting a right kick out of me tucking into a steaming plate of my own bullshit so I may as well roll with it. I always had a haunting feeling that that offhand remark about never joining Twitter in the second piece I wrote would come back to smack me about the face with its e-cock (sorry, i-Cock) so in a way… I’m right. So ner.
I toyed with leaving it well enough alone and only using it when absolutely necessary but I think we all know that won’t happen. It will lurk there at the corners of the internet winking at me and lifting its binary skirt to show a glimpse of social networking ankle and I know I’ll end up using it anyway. That presents me an infuriating position that will only pave the way to more fury. I don’t care about Twitter. I don’t care what famous people say when they think that have something important to talk about, why in god’s name should I care about whatever brainfart happens to scurry across their tiny minds? I can only imagine the delights Stephen Fry has to offer me (‘Just settling in for a lovely cup of tea and a wank my darlings’) and similarly why should he or anyone else in the world care what I have to say? In the grand scheme of things, I’m totally unimportant. Even in the not so grand scheme of things I still am. Why should I join the gibbering masses, essentially doing the online equivalent of standing in a large group howling at the indifferent world that we have something on our minds? No one cares, you have nothing to say, nothing that you say can make a difference. There is no point, you just are and 140 character will not change that for you.
And yet you (and of course by that I mean I and everyone else in the world) are at your heart narcissistic. We want people to know where we are or what we just ate or that funny thing we just thought of. Why? I don’t know, do you? Of course not! I mean, why am I writing a blog (or attempting to)? Why does anyone? Are we all just that desperate to carve an ‘i woz ere’ on the Earth? Yeah probably and a lot of people seem to have fun doing so. For once maybe, I should see what the fuss is about instead of sitting on my high chair on the fence and gurning about it. So let’s make it an exploration shall we? I’ll write as I go about my first ever Twitter experience perhaps I will post a Twat. That’s what they’re called isn’t it? Join me as, much like the kid that fell into that slurry pit in a farm safety video we all had to watch in Primary School (Crucial Crew represent!) I jump headlong into a world that I fear and abhor which I will probably sink and drown in. Also it smells like shit. Or something. Shall we?
Part 1 – Wait, what?
Right off the bat I am confused. There is a stream of all the people I am following displaying what they’re saying I assume. As I have only one person to follow this stream currently looks like a cartoon camel talking to itself. That person is the Online Journalism course so apparently the idea of a course is talking now. This is profoundly confusing. I clearly shouldn’t be thinking about this so- ARGH! What the hell was that? Someone is following me? Should I tell the police? Does Twitter monitor the behavior of weird individuals and helpfully let you know when one of them develops stalker-ish tendencies? Oh wait no it’s someone from class. The poor love, why the hell would she want to follow me?
Part 2 – The ever-important picture
Ah now we’re on familiar ground. Everyone knows how important the picture is to the image of yourself you’re projecting out to the indifferent electronic world. Ever since the days of MySpace this has been a crucial part of the process and a much-abused one I tend to think thanks to Facebook and the general vanity of people aged 16-infinity. I won’t be going for a photo of myself, that aforementioned vanity is for Facebook. No, I have narrowed my options down to these two ideas:
As you can see they’re both brilliant but I haven’t quite decided yet. One seems to sum thing up quite well, the love of Spider-man and the agony of writer’s block/lack of inspiration wraps things up in a nice little package. On the other hand the other is a natural continuation of the avatar I use for WordPress that most wouldn’t notice. Therein our equine friend is a GI, here a surgeon(?) but both still silently declare his immortal line and this blog’s general overtone – ‘No sir, I don’t like it.’ Which to use? You decide! No not really, I don’t have much of a following, I could be waiting forever for a response. I’ll use our horse friend for now.
Part 3 – The first post!
Okay deep breath. I have written my first missive and like a transmission fired off into deep space with nothing but optimism and a slight befuddlement fueling it I send it forth. You can see it here.
Part 4 – Into the slurry pit
I suppose it’s about time I stop lurking around the edges and dive in, see where all the cool kids are right? Now how do I do that? I contemplate clicking ‘trending’ topics but I wasn’t even aware that ‘trend’ could be used as a verb up until now. We’ll leave that alone for now thanks very much. Besides I don’t think I’m 25% as cool as I need to be to understand what any of them mean.
I don’t know what I was expecting really, some sort of massive, writhing, constantly changing web page where thousands upon thousands of words all pile on top of each other in desperate need of acknowledgement I suppose. Instead what I get is a rather dense list of topics that might house something I may be interested in. Huh. What an anti-climax. To at least make some semblance of an effort I stick to two old favourites, Charlie Brooker and Frank Turner. It’s a start.
Right then… now what? Is that it? I thought this was supposed to be some tool for social revolution. The Guardian can’t go three columns without inserting the word ‘Twitter’ or some variation thereof I expected it to be a little more important looking or at least like I was part of something I was previously missing out on. As it is I just feel like I signed up for MySpace v4.5.2 the stripped down edition. Also a little dirty. And not in a good way. As a little tester (and for research for a uni piece) I typed Liu Xiaobo into the search bar and looked on as a good long list of relevant stuff sailed by. Leaving it for 5 minutes generated 7 more Twoots and I began to get the vague feeling that this could be used for good. They were basically all saying the same thing but it’s sort of promising to know that not everyone is yakking on about some shite that rolled out of that talentless fat fuck Chris Moyle’s mouth and spattered across his keyboard or something like I expected it to be. I assume there is a large section that is nothing but internet acronyms and increasingly bizarre pictures of kittens but I like the impression I’m getting, that I can avoid that if I wish and still use Twitter.
Please feel free to recommend people to follow or give me the link to your Twitter profiles if that’s what we’re still calling them since the last 4.5 minutes I check the page. God knows all this hyper cool stuff moves at a hellish pace.
Right I’m going to crawl back into my pile of undone university work and half packed suitcases that have been stopping me from updating It’s Not As Bad As All That since August.
Oh and I’ll check Twitter now and then I guess.
Your fellow Twittererererer David Hetherington.