This is me, thinking about why Twitter works as well as it does when nobody has an agenda. Today, it’s all about how you interact with the platform, and then how other people do the same with you.
It’s Day Two of India vs England and suddenly, there’s an England batting collapse. Joe Root’s just gone for 53, caught at deep mid-off, and Charles Dagnall, one of the ‘new breed’ of radio Test commentators, is retweeted by @bbctms (Test Match Special‘s dedicated Twitter feed) saying what most of us just thought:
My first thought? Oh look, England’s gonna fuck it up again.
I was talking to my daughter this morning on our way to school, about how Emojis are showing an interesting way forward for language in the future. In years to come, images might well replace spoken language as they are a far easier form of instant communication for people to understand. So, when I saw Charles’ comment, this GIF was the perfect response. So, I sent it, and in a moment of cosmic beauty the man decided to reply with an Emoji to boot <3
Here’s Reason #1 why having princes and paupers together is a great thing, especially when it comes to communicating intent. This platform allows you to get people with influence to read stuff that matters. Normally it works best when you aren’t the seller, however: altruism is always the best way forward. Asking your hero to read your shit? No, that’s not the plan here. Asking your hero to read someone else’s shit you think is brilliant? Much better idea.
My mate Julia links me a website made by @ which suggests that instead of getting upset over the US Election, you could do something positive, like give time or money to make things better. I think this is brilliant, and try and work out how I get this more exposure, and the person on my FL who I think might appreciate this? Duncan Jones. We’ve chatted a little too, I know he’s a voracious Twitter consumer, and he’s on EU time because he’s filming in Germany. In this case, I don’t expect a reply, just sending the Tweet is enough. The fact I get one? So much the betterer.
I created a link to a hero, over a subject I know we’re both passionate about. No, I won’t start stalking him any time soon, and this isn’t about anything other than sharing a love of the things that make us mesh. As a grown up you can do this and just move on, and yeah, you’re totally cool about it. Nah, it’s not a big deal at all.
Yeah, I lied. However, there’s a bigger issue tied up in this and it is worth explaining. I have a particular person who likes to ‘like’ my posts on pretty much a daily basis. They don’t follow me, but are still reading my timeline, presumably via a Twitter ‘List’ that somebody else maintains. I’ve found this increasingly uncomfortable, and only this morning did I work out why.
This is a significant epiphany. Unless I lock my account, anybody can and will read me. Just because I don’t have them on my feed doesn’t mean they’re incapable of communication, either. Mr Jones’ ‘like’ shows me he read the message. Twatface Otherbloke’s cursory liking feels to me exactly like I’m at the pole and he’s got the dosh because if I mattered enough, presumably, he’d have gotten off his arse and spoken to me by now. Instead he’ll just continue to smile and shove those fivers into my underwear. Even a retweet to his followers list might show that what I’m doing matters enough for him to expand my audience, but it could almost be as if I’m being baited. I feel like I’ve become his personal show, and that’s a lot why both sides of this platform often come to blows. Because if you assume to much, or not enough, or often any point in between? It will only end in tears.
The best way this whole thing works is when you stop making it personal. It’s like being in the Pub when the famous bloke comes in, and you get to shake their hand and say how cool you think they are. That’s all it is, a moment of passing, the nod of appreciation that yes, what’s happening here is cool and you have relevance. I’m not after a Senpai noticing me, I’m chancing my arm and LOOK I DID IT. Tomorrow it won’t happen, and the trick to life is not to live on the belief of expectation and simply to life as you live.
Today, I learn the lesson that if I don’t want cash in my cleavage, I should become an accountant.