Life needs to be full of little wins. Standing in just the right spot for the doors when the tube comes in; getting to the pub just after someone else has bought a large round; finishing your book just as the plane hits the tarmac (does that make me sound jet set?); eating round the cardomom pod in the pilau rice (middle class ftw). These little wins are what keeps us sane. One of the most comforting things in the world is getting into something before other people. It might be a film, a book or a band, but isn't it a great feeling when you were definitely in on the ground floor, and the world has spent some time catching you up?
I feel a little like this about twitter. I certainly wasn't the creator of twitter, and I'm pretty sure that there were lots of people keen on it well before me. But I've been happily tweeting for at least a couple of years now, and people have slowly been catching me up. Well, in rural Northamptonshire they have, anyway. I'm not sure that my tweets to followers ratio is anything to be proud of (5500:295 at last count), but that means they get about 20 each, which seems like a good reason to follow me; for the personal touch, as it were.
I like twitter. Far more than facebook. It's very easy to stagnate on facebook, unless you're at university, or just happen to meet lots of new people every week. Facebook is very immediately easy to get in to, unlike twitter, which is another reason I like tweeting more than 'booking (?). Here are some reasons why I dislike facebook:
1. People who post 140 photos from one night out, most of which comprise over-exposed white faces with v-signs from strangers in the background, all captured in some carpeted bar/club with shots for a quid and wkd blues on special
2. People who do anything other than contact people or put photos up: farmville, aquaria, throwing snowballs at each other: cretins.
3. People who have whole personal conversations on each other's wall, on topics as dull as who's turn it is to buy milk
4. Any evidence that any any time, in any place, someone was having more fun than you
Here are some common barbs thrust at me for liking twitter:
1. It's just like facebook, but only status updates
2. It's only for people who like to think they're friends with celebrities
3. General nerd noises whenever my phone comes out (even if it's ringing), just in case I might be about to use it to tweet
I'm pretty sure that people who profess not to like it simply do not understand, and if they do, they haven't the patience to see it through: you have to persevere with twitter, as there won't be a mass of people who got there before you who have already friend requested you.
Twitter for me is simply an information store, and it's a great way of filtering out the information that you do want from that which you don't. It's a bit like the Sunday papers. There's always some adverts, some cruise pamphlets, something with Louie Spence on the cover and plenty of thin plastic, usually with a 1950s film for free. There's also the business and jobs section, the money section and the 'life' section. You don't want any of these, but you've still got them. With twitter, simply follow 'news' 'sport' 'books' etc and you've instantly removed that useless wadge from your life. You can follow bands you like - gigs often advertised first on twitter, or comedians - they might be funny, and give you a little lift in the morning. You're also invited (with no questions asked) into a whole new community - the twitterati. Watching 'take me out' on your own on a saturday night, and have a pithy abusive aside to share with someone? - hashtag #takemeout and you have a whole new set of friends with which to pour scorn on the Northern lads and lasses.
Oh, and the Corens, Toby Young, Jason Gillespie, Jay Rayner, Dion Dublin and Bumble are all officially better friends of mine than they are of yours. If only Miss Daisy Frost would start following me...