I registered on Twitter several years ago (here I’m relying on my failing memory somewhat- Twitter has been around for several years, hasn’t it?) but quickly became an active non-tweeter because I felt I had better things to do with the time I thought Twitter was going to require me to invest, and also because I saw evidence that the emergent new internet sensation was going to be awash with the inane, and I didn’t think I wanted to read others’ inane observations any more than I imagine they would want to read mine. The smoldering of my misgivings was fueled by continual instances of reporting in various media of outrageous comments/tweets by bitchy performing arts personalities.
I have returned to Twitter years on because I have seen a change take place as more and more clever and sensible people have become Twitterers. I don’t doubt the bitchiness is still about, but I now simply dismiss the news items and choose not to ‘follow’ anybody whose tweets repeatedly test the bounds of decency or good manners. Of course one chooses the odd politician and you can never guarantee they will always preserve or observe general niceties but that sort of goes with the territory, and I can always simply treat unwelcome tweets with the disdain they deserve. The beauty of a 140 character entry is that you are able to very soon make up your mind whether it’s in the realm of the inane or worth it’s worth the read. Of course the humorous tweets are very clever given the requirement of brevity imposed by the 140 characters- isn’t brevity the soul of wit?
So I now have a divergent group who I follow that ranges from family & friends and associates from my work to politicians and personalities, and these from sports or entertainments that I have an interest in. I follow a few golfers, a couple of rugby players, some sports commentators, a few (very few) politicians and some personalities from the performing arts who I am sure are far too sensible to stoop to the bitchy and who entertain with their wit and insightful wisdom (Jimmy Carr- wisdom? Hahaha!.)
Stephen Fry is one such personality who I enjoy watching in a wide range of television shows (ranging all the way from ‘Jeeves & Wooster’ and ‘Blackadder’, through ‘Kingdom’ and ‘ the quirky ‘Qi’ to documentaries such as ‘Stephen Fry in America’, and I look forward to ‘Last Chance To See’ arriving soon,) and who has embraced Twitter with what almost qualifies as a passion [the archetypical English Twit? Sorry, Stephen!] While many of his twitterings will be in response to comments of others, or will be agonisings over the progress of Norwich City FC he tweets frequently with personal observations on a wide range of issues and it is these that I look forward to.
The aforementioned Jimmy Carr is also one whose tweets I look forward to because of his rather irreverent view on life. I felt for the contestants in his TV show, “Distraction” but laughed out loud at their sufferings and there is often much of the distractive in his tweets.
There are ‘re-tweets’ that some who follow me have decided are worth passing on and it can be through these that I am able to meet new personalities (such as the clever John Fugelsang) or read the views of others’ on world matters.
I don’t know that I am necessarily a ‘disciple’ of Twitter but I do have a much less cynical view of the application now and look forward to seeing what Twitter will ultimately evolve into, because I am sure that just as my acceptance and usage of it has been modified by the practices of others, so will the expectations of the users of Twitter lead to modification of and fine-tuning of the application itself.