Twitter-on-Sea

“Morning lovelies!” Jacqui greets me with a jolly wave. Stephanie is up and getting ready for school, she has hockey today, I hope her recently-injured shoulder will be ok. Damo is still a bit grumpy from lack of sleep, his daughter lost her Eeyore at Tesco’s and has been inconsolable ever since, poor thing. Emily is getting dressed to go meet her ex, she wants to be sexy so he knows what he’s missing and asks me for advice: tights or not? Zena is working on her new house, the water is still not hooked up, but things are coming along well…

In the distance, the “celebrities” wander by, some of them dash past on their busy schedule, and I just watch them go. Others take time to stop and chat, and that always makes me smile and feel a bit special, no matter how “minor” the celebrity or how random the chat… The day begins.

Twitter is a strange thing. Like many “tools” of the web: chat rooms, message boards, community sites; it’s pretty much exactly what you make it, in fact even moreso with Twitter’s very simple design and I’m beginning to really like what my Twitter has become. It has turned into a village of sorts. I don’t know all the people who live there, far from it, and some I know better than others. As in any village, there’s that guy who lives down the road and always says hello but you never found out what his name was, and then there are the people you actually get to know and who will pop round for a cuppa and to moan about the kids and the price of fish. And some of them I actually know in “real life” too.

That’s my Twitter world at the moment, and the only thing I dislike about it is that it makes all these lovely people seem so close, and yet I can’t *actually* pop round for a cuppa, because they’re in some strange foreign place half way across the world. Or worse, London. It is often said that Internet has shrunk the world; it hasn’t. The world is still big, massive in fact. What the Internet did was make us realise how nice it would be to be in 1000 other places pretty much all the time.

I have seen some people advising Twitter users to follow plenty of people; “1500 is a good start”, I once read. Then there are those who regret that Twitter changed its options so they can’t see other people’s tweets to people they don’t follow. Oh well, each to his own, in Twitter as in life. As for me, well, I only follow people I find interesting, and I try to keep the numbers low, I must be following around 50 people, and only a part of them provide the bulk of the content. That’s all my puny brain can take, any more and I would miss stuff, I probably already do, so I can hardly imagine a flow of 1500 people constantly chattering away, riddled with bits of one-sided conversations… Let alone the ocean of tweets that someone like Stephen Fry must be swimming in!
The only advice I can give to those who want to enjoy Twitter is: play with it, try stuff, find out what suits you best. There are as many ways of using Twitter as there are people using it. Just do it your way. Make yourself at home.

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