Monday, 24 February 2014
I find reading about Twitter utterly mind-numbing so apologies. I think it's a fun way to spend two minutes a day, perusing people's hilar capers, but I could never take Twitter seriously and it almost frightens me how zealous people seem to be over it. They are on there every minute of the day, checking, checking, checking, getting mad, acting like it's real life, expending a great deal of emotion over it. Ten years ago, if someone behaved that way over a chatroom, it would have been socially unacceptable. Now, being a die hard Twitter user is normal.
It really shouldn't be, though. Real Life is so much better. It's tangible, palpable and true. It's not right to emote over something you read on screen. Nowadays I never emote over anything I see on Twitter, not one thing. That's because it's ultimately a silly fad we are likely to have forgotten about in ten years' time, discarded in the virtual wasteland alongside MySpace and FriendsReunited. It's silly and trivial, and I treat it as such, with disregard. Like AA Gill said, "Twitter is a smell."
I joined Twitter yonks ago, back in late '09 when Stephen Fry and co brought it to the media's attention. Though old enough to know better, I was tremendously naive, which is a very dangerous thing on the internet. I don't think I had ever chatted to anyone online before and hadn't yet developed the fuck off and die attitude I keep at the forefront of my online life today. After days and days of Tweeting without a response from anyone, I was thrilled when some guy started talking to me on there. Let me rephrase that: when some guy started grooming me on there. He was funny and charming and seemed so normal.
For once, it seemed like I had actually made friends with a sane male of the species. I wanted to be nice and sweet and keep him as my friend. Lord, what a green banana. I bet he was having a real laugh about what an innocent lamb I was. As with all internet predators, he didn't have patience for long and started to pressure me and pressure me into giving him my mobile number. I would try to let him down gently, I was so desperate to stay friends, and he'd do the classic grooming lines of "you're so boring", "all the other girls give me theirs" and on and on. It was making me sick to my stomach. Why the heck didn't I use that block button? I can't rationalise it now.
Anyway, thankfully I didn't give him my number, but wanting to placate him I gave him my email address and exchanged a couple of pretty weird, long messages, and he even talked me into sending pics of myself which is undoubtedly the dumbest thing I have ever done. I've never been one of these girls who likes the thought of guys wanking over her - call me Victorian but it's something that really disgusts me deep down. The whole thing creeped me out so much I deleted my Twitter profile, even the email account.
Even though it was a horrible episode, I'm actually glad it happened because now I'm - rightly - super suspicous of every single person I talk to online. In fact, I very rarely chat to anyone online because in my opinion they all turn out to be absolutely nuts. I also wield the block button on Twitter so liberally it's funny - anyone the slightest bit odd gets it, and I very rarely reply to anyone. Perhaps that defies the point of it, but so what?
I am looking at that guy's Twitter page in between typing this and he's still doing the same thing to other girls, still playing tricks on their minds.
Now I'm hovering the cursor.
"This user has been blocked."