Can anyone explain Twitter to me in a way that the whole thing becomes even vaguely meaningful?

I joined almost by accident, at the request of a friend from my other blog, Cafe Crem, but he’s now vanished. Since I didn’t stop following him, he must have deleted his account. I must follow that up at some point and ask why. I now have a grand total of five people(or entities) following me. Of them, one is a friend in Gran Canaria(hi Dean!) another is my pal Jenny, whom I have known for years(hi Jenny!) another is a twitter pal of my original friend who I don’t know at all but feel it would be rude to now delete him. The two newest are a total stranger who has so far failed to answer my direct message about who she is and how we might be connected, and finally, last night the strangest of them all turned up.

The Henson Company is now following me. Yes, you got it, the guys who made the Muppets, created the creatures for such delights as Dark Crystal, Labyrinth and more recently, Farscape and many other films and TV shows.


Well, in trying to get into the spirit of the thing, I tweeted that I was spending the afternoon watching DVDs of Farscape and eating popcorn.

When I checked my emails before bed, that was what I found.

Barmy. It’s obviously either an automated system that picks up on key words, or some poor sod really needs to get a life or a better job.

For about a week, I(along with an enormous horde) followed comedian Stephen Fry, until I got very bored with it all. I liked him until then but he revealed himself to be not only the creatorof the term Luvvie but the very epitome of the term.

I simply do not understand it all. Oh, it’s nice to get little snippets of things about a few people I know and am far from, but the rest I don’t get. I’ve tried, believe me. It’s beyond me.

Politicians and celebrities are now all flocking to Twitter and it’s the politicians that annoy me. Go and do your flippin’ job, and stop arsing around pretending to be hip and cool and up-to-date. I(and I imagine a lot of people) don’t care if you are up-to-date with the latest fads; we only want that you do the job WE pay you for. I don’t want blow-by-blow accounts of the life of Gordon Brown; I doubt Mrs Brown does, even. I don’t want a minute by minute account of the day of David Cameron.

I saw a brief feature on the news about the uses of Twitter; some guy tweeted from Paris to ask what he could do there. That is so stupid; buy a guidebook, do some research! If you have Twitter on your phone, then you also have internet access on the move. Try something new for yourself, for heavens’ sake, don’t wait till someone says “Oh you must try the little Bistro near Notre Dame!”. Walk around and look around you. Someone has to be first and take a little tiny risk.

I cannot see that Twitter enhances my life in any real way beyond occasional messages from a few people who would maybe email or text me if there was anything really interesting happening. It’s a lie that we need to be in constant contact with each other about every little thing that occurs. We don’t. It doesn’t make me feel more connected with humanity, or anything like that. If anything it does the opposite. When it comes down to it, what can they do if I have a bad day other than say nice things? Can they appear (as if by magic like the shopkeeper in Mr Ben) and do something about it? No. Sadly they can’t. My family and friends(here) and neighbours can at least pass me a hanky and make me a cuppa.

So in a little while when I’ve got my face on, I’m off to meet a friend for a cup of coffee and a good old face-to-face chin wag. I don’t do it very often because life is busy and going to get busier, but it is important that we make time to BE with people when we can, and in the end, I do wonder if instant sound-bites are going to take up so much of people’s time that they stop finding time for the real business of connecting with people in a deeper and more meaningful way.

Circle of Friends


One of my friends gave me the candle holder shown in the picture as a birthday present last year. It’s supposed to represent an unbroken circle of friendship; the shadows that the stylised figures cast are somehow rather more powerful when viewed like this than the simple clay sculpture.

I don’t think in some ways we ever know how far our shadows reach, how many lives we reach when we set out, but I would like to take this as a chance to say that across oceans and thousands of miles, I have felt the friendship of people I may in all probability never meet face to face but whose shadow(or influence) I have seen here in my little study in the east of England.

We all cast a shadow, have an effect somewhere. I’d like to thank you all for yours, here.