A big topic, this week. The way we use Twitter. All of us. All typed things, really. But specifically that. Sometimes it works, sometimes it goes a bit wrong. As ever, Crumpet’s is soft and ridiculous whilst Panda’s is about albino dwarf cocks.
I witnessed a Twitter lynching the other day, someone publicly tweeted someone else their reasons for not following them no more. Because it was public other people got involved. It bled into a few days of my normal hilarious twitter time line. The word bullying was banned around, sly tweets were put out with no names mentioned, thus causing other people to get involved. Someone deleted their account, people began to put out messages of support of the person who had deleted their account. It was blown up to school yard proportions all over from what I can gather, a stupid misunderstanding.
Lets break this down, I don’t know the exact figures and I can’t be arsed to look them up but communication is made up of something like 25% words and the rest is body language tone of voice that sort of thing. So OBVIOUSLY when communicating just through what is essentially a fucking text message sometimes things are gonna get misconceived.
Secondly when on a medium such as Twitter you’re gonna come across people you don’t like, but you know that’s the beauty of it JUST STOP FOLLOWING THEM.
What left a bad taste in my mouth was the public way in which this Tweet was sent. It could have been sent via a DM.. But to put it out there like that and the way it was written called for other people to then get involved.
So next in the saga was the cryptic tweets, Tweets put out implying someone had been a bully so someone else had deleted their account. Never mentioning any names though, so obviously next comes everyone else getting in a Scrappy Do type flap “Who was it, name and shame them, YEAH LET ME AT EM I’LL CHOP THEIR FUCKING BALLS OFF”**
* I may have added that to spice things up a bit
It took every ounce of my strength to not wade in and tell everyone to GROW THE FUCK UP. No one knew the full story, no fucking crime had been committed, no one had magically raped someone via the internet. It was turning into a kiddie fiddler type mobbing. The thing is I actually like everyone involved which was why I was so surprised by it. But that’s the thing though aint it, yeah I read these people’s tweets every day but I don’t actually know any of them. For all most of you know I could be a 20 stone cross dressing albino midget with an unnaturally large penis.
It’s the internet people the home of false identities and fragile egos. If someone says someone’s been a dick, maybe they have been a dick but there’s also a chance THAT YOU DON’T KNOW THE FULL STORY AND THEY HAVEN’T.
See I tend to use Twitter for fun, I follow a lot of people I have no interaction with but they make me laugh. Don’t get me wrong I’ve made some brilliant actual (totally smelt their hair) friends and I also have lovely conversations with the ones I have never met. But if I was having some crisis or someone had fucked me off, would I tweet about it for the world to see? Ummm no, that stuff is reserved for private emails, telephone conversations and emergency cake meetings.
I’m not saying it’s wrong to put your personal stuff out there, use it how the fuck you want (You know once, a man called Mr Ed started following me and all he used his for was showing off his massive old mans cock SHOCKING) But keep in mind it’s not real, you’re getting a small part of a person (Or in Mr Eds case a large member)
All I’m saying is these Twitter or general internet lynchings are ridiculous. Whether it be some random on my time line or that Rebecca Black girl, yeah her songs shit but for fuck sake she’s 16……..I’ve got a powerful video of me at 16 miming badly to Ben Folds Five I’m gonna put that on You Tube I’ll be an internet sensation. Anyway I digress, I could fucking rattle on about this all day. People who slag other people off ARE PUSHING THEIR OWN INSECURITIES AND ISSUES ONTO THEM. 100% happy people are nice people and they are not mean, glass houses and all that.
So next time you feel the need to jump in and get involved with an internet lynching take a moment and think whether what you’re reading is true and does it really matter at all. And if you happen to be on the receiving end of one, It really don’t matter, just switch your computer off and go play outside with your real friends. They’re great and you can feel them up and everything.
It’s 2011 now. No Jetsons-style space-outfits. No hovercar (or even a driving license for that matter). No habitats on Mars. No monkey-butlers. And not *all* my dinners come in pill form. Stupid future.
What we DO have though is KEYBOARDS. Everywhere. On our phones. On our desks. On our laps. Typing. And wires and magical ways of not using the wires but doing the same things that you do when you had the wires and the ”
ccccchhhhhhggggadingadingdoooocccggggghhhh” connecting noise in 1996. When you have typing and keyboard and wires/nowires (because it’s the future) you don’t have faces. Or tone of voice. You don’t even always have the privilege of having ever known or met the person you’re even talking to in the first place.
This can become confusing in a billion different ways. You could decide you love every single thing about this person because they write a funny blog, or you notice you both like the same music, or you both enjoy talking about the same stuff or what EVER it is that makes you feel magically connected to someone just because they’re pressing the keyboard buttons in the right order to make a bit of your brain go BING. Whatever it is that makes you think you and this collection of words on a screen have any sort of connection – ITS WRONG. Well, it’s just not the whole picture, is it? Of course there’s a person attached to those words. And a brain. And lovely hair and things. But you haven’t met. Humans need other humans. We need physical contact. And laughter. And our brains need sounds and visual stimuli for communication to work effectively. When all you have is words on a screen, you have none of those things. You have your imagination, and that’s pretty much it.
The potential for all of this to have a negative outcome is massive, too. It’s easy to misinterpret ‘conversations’ when you don’t have the sights and the sounds. It’s easy to make up your own version of a person when you’ve never met them. It’s easy to project your own expectations and problems on to whatever it is you’re struggling with to understand.
I love twitter. Through it I’ve met lovely neighbours, who have become great drinking and dining buddies. I’ve met me a Panda to write this blog with. It helped me get my 2nd job, which I love and covers about half of my rent now, which is ace. I’ve met people who have become dear, close, wonderful friends. People I’ve gone out to tea with. Taken a knitting class with. Been to concerts with, and watched perform in concerts of their own. I’ve met boys who are lovely and interesting and fun and used it to stay in touch with a couple of old school chums and ALL the things you use it for, no doubt, too. These things are cool. Once you’ve met people – it doesn’t matter where you’ve found them. You might adjust the way you speak to them a little if you’re typing, because the nature of your relationship and your interaction with them has changed. You know different things about them and it is generally easier.
Someone who has been sweet and lovely and helpful this week gave me a great pearl of wisdom. He said: “some people take Twitter too seriously and think Twitter is the important thing in the equation, when it’s the people who are the important thing.”
This is the thing, isn’t it?
However you use twitter – if you use it a lot, if you like meeting people, if you never want to meet in real life, if you only speak to the people you know already or you only speak to those you don’t, the significant thing to remember is that those words are PEOPLE. It’s hard, but if you jump to conclusions about them, or anything they may say or mean, it needs to pass. You need to let it pass. Because it was only typed. And it’s bound to go wrong because there’s a massive chunk of communicative tools missing.
I’m waffling. So I’m probably writing a great example of the very thing I’m trying to say, anyway.
Life is a bit rubbish without connections. We just need to remember how to do them in the right way.