So twitter is five years old on Monday. I'm on there but may as well not be. I have a mere six followers, most of whom are friends who never clock in (They're all far too busy on facebook...). Having jumped on the bandwagon wittering away with gusto, it soon became clear that I was painstakingly devising concise little 140 character ditties to tweet to no-one but myself. As result, my once vigorous chirp has now dwindled to a faint occasional cheep. Yes, yes, I know I'm here rattling on to no-one in particular too but there's a difference. It feels a little bit more substantial, a little less trivial, and more satisfying to write, even if it's just me who reads me.
After all, itsy bitsy tweets can only say so much, and if you're not a-d list famous with a mag/column/tv prog/tour to promote, or a rebel rallying an uprising, just why would you bother?
The only time I've got any pleasure out of twitter is watching spats develop between well-known individuals. Two in particular come to mind - Sarah Vine vs Professor Brian Cox because it was just last week, and Giles Coren vs Janice Turner, because it was hilarious. Vitriol, sarcasm, imaginative use of sexist expletives, there are no holds barred on twitter, and eavesdropping someone else's ruck in real time can brighten up a rather dull day.
And then you see yourself as what you really are. Because let's be honest, for the most part, facebook and twitter are all about voyeurs and exhibitionists. You generally fall into one camp or the other. I can never think of anything remotely interesting, funny, meaningful, to write as a status or tweet, so prefer not to try. When i visit these sites it is therefore, I must confess officer, as petite voyeuse, peering into other people's lives, which although that's what they're designed for, is not something I am remotely proud of. It wastes inane amounts of time, and leaves you feeling unfulfilled, and just a little bit dirty. There is rarely anything said that warrants note or chuckle, nor is there satisfaction to be gained in eavesdropping other people's conversations or indeed, knowing every move/thought/achievement they choose to declare to the wider public. You will regularly lose a couple of hours of your life and have nothing but a lingering sense of inadequacy to show for it.
What's more, no one it seems these days can do anything - go on holiday, visit an area of outstanding natural beauty, have a baby, eat, indulge in illicit affair, without dropping everything to notify the world about it in the most concise, funniest terms they can muster. Instead of enjoying the experience/interaction/life-changing event for what it is, fingers fumble for keypads and thoughts turn to 'how can I best tweet this'. We're beginning to live in a parallel universe, one that's defined by tweet.
So, with that, I declare my current status to be 'bored by facebook and twitter'. I shall herewith be dropping the snoop-and-tell habit and resolve to get back a large segment of my life. I shall no longer use social networking sites as random timefillers, because as we all know they are instead ruthless time-robbers, ravenous devourers of that most precious commodity, offering nothing but a warped sense of reality and a mild psychological complex in return. I shall use the time I gain as a result to better effect.
And if you're responding sarcastically, 'wot, like here on this blog?' I can only say well yes, that's part of it. I'd rather write where I'm not restricted by charactersss (as on twitter), on a forum that's not inherently devoid of characterrrr (as is facebook). Plus, I could point out, you're here, and got to the end of this. Which proves there's still appetite for more than a tweet. But, all right, all right. Keeping in the spirit of thing, for those who really must know, right now, on this day, at 15.45, I can declare I am..... 'Parched and off to make a cup of tea. English Breakfast, milk, no sugar. ' Well, it is its birthday after all.