I’ve recently finished reading Grace Dent’s ‘How To Leave Twitter’; I found it ironic how a book with that title could make me want to never leave twitter, ever. I honestly didn’t expect to become emotionally invested in it, but I did. Without wishing to sound like some gushing, insipid fangirl, it detailed absolutely everything I love about social networking and satirised everything I hate and I’m already inflicting it upon everyone I care about, regardless of whether they’re on twitter or not. Here’s why…
Twitter’s capacity to unite people cannot be overstated; Twitter has connected me with some of the loveliest people I know. I’ve encountered some amazing characters. I’ve been educated on the inner thoughts of a pigeon, discovered random sign humour from around the country and conversed with minor celebrities. I’ve read the full details of the Queen’s fondness for gin (although one suspects that may be a spoof account). There are some weirdos out there, I know that, but at the end of the day, who wouldn’t want to read menial ‘gossip’ from backstage at The Voice? A bore, that’s who.
Twitter helped the Fenton video go viral. Twitter found and publicised the personal blog of the guy who turned up in the Thames during the boat race earlier this year. Twitter identified criminals during the London Riots. Twitter helped me figure out what to get my best friend for his birthday. Twitter helps spread the word when people are truly in need – people who need money for expensive medical treatments, for example – and gives others a quick and easy way to help them out. Twitter reunites lost relatives. It’s not merely 3000 posts per second detailing people’s lunches.
Having said all that, there are times when Twitter makes me want to destroy me blackberry, iPod and MacBook, hide under my duvet and stay there indefinitely. The B*lieber trends. The D*rectioner trends. Constantly in my face. I don’t mind it in principle, it’s quite nice that a large demographic such as females aged roughly 11-16 have something such as a young pop star/boy band to unite them and create friendships, however tenuous, but why do I have to read about it every single day of my life!? (And I did enjoy that fact that Dent managed to write an entire book on twitter and not mention B*eber or O*e D*rection once). I genuinely laughed out loud on one particular occasion many months ago when a number of sensible adults, clearly tiring of the incessant tweeny-pop trends, banded together to get ‘George Formby’ trending. It worked, and I wish it could happen again. I may suggest ‘Chesney Hawkes’ for next time.
At the end of the day, it’s just really enjoyable. I love taking every thought that enters my head and throwing it out into cyberspace for anyone to read. It’s cathartic, alright? For that reason, I will tweet incessantly until I die.