I’m completely flummoxed to read that TV cooking beauty Lorraine Pascale regularly receives hundreds of racially abusive messages from trolls on twitter. (Source Daily Mail) Flummoxed but perhaps not so surprised as every day there seems to be another negative story about social media.
On another slightly depressing note, did you know that social media addiction and withdrawal is now being recognised as an official ‘problem’? (Source The Telegraph)
Yes, it’s undeniable. The growth of social media has created a whole new raft of issues that weren’t around when our grandparents were growing up. Hang on, they weren’t even around when WE were growing up. But let’s not forget the good, and the fun things it brings us too.
So on this positive note – here are my 5 reasons that #ilovetwitter
I’ve met some amazing and hilarious people through my twitter account. Some I’ve actually met the traditional way (you know, in person like) but most I haven’t and doubt I ever will.
Characters on twitter seems to fall into certain categories – here are my favourites:
THE TWITTER MUMS
The kindly people that offer advice on cooking / illness / haberdashery / emotional breakdowns. It really saves me having to keep calling and bugging my own mum every five minutes.
MY VIRTUAL COLLEAGUES
I’m talking about my fellow early bird radio presenters up and down the country and indeed across the globe. Mostly we haven’t met but we are bonded over 4am alarms, caffeine additions and general radio geekiness.
There’s nothing better first thing in the morning than a dog in a onesie, a baby in a tiger suit or a story about men dressing up as rubber dolls (yes you just read that right). I love the twitter peeps who kindly retweet the insane, the cute, the interesting and the downright silly stuff to keep us all amused all day. Oh yeah and I may just pass off some of the RT’s as my own.
There are loads of cool people on twitter. Much cooler than me. Like @Astro_Ron who tweets pictures from space. Like @aaronpaul_8 from Breaking Bad who shares loads of backstage Breaking Bad goss with his fans. Like @TheOldFolksHome who tweet genuinely hilarious (and sometimes touching) quotes from the mature residents of their home.
And then there are the effortlessly cool celebs who do yoga before breakfast in LA, drink green healthy things and manage casual chic in a pair of levis, a white t shirt and flip flops. Yeah, I mostly like to stare at their pictures and wish I was that cool.
I know the words ‘nice’ and ‘stalking’ don’t really go hand in hand – but hear me out. Twitter is just brilliant for checking up on people really quickly. Take a celebrity interview for example. Gone are the days when I used to spend hours trawling through their websites or Wikipedia biogs to find out the basics. These days all I do is a quick twitter search and bam. I know what they had for breakfast, what they watched on TV last night and a whole host of other useless information.
Oh and you can nicely stalk people you’d like to work for as well.
And people you’d like to go out with. I don’t do this one as I am already taken. (See point number 5)
Forget the little black book – it’s all about meeting contacts for your business on twitter now. Don’t do a cold faceless email. Tweet them instead. It may look a little over-keen but sometimes it works. Just be nice. And don’t over-tweet them.
Ah yes – idea stealing. I think actually it would be fairer to call it ‘borrowing’ – because it’s meant in the nicest possible way. Let’s face it, we’ve always done it all our lives haven’t we? It’s just much easier now. I borrow ideas for outfits and hair. I’ve definitely borrowed brilliant deep and meaningful quotes that I couldn’t possibly come up with myself. And I borrow career ideas. If there’s someone who inspires you – check out their twitter! You will soon be brimming with ideas about how you can be just as successful as them.
– Sitting in the waiting room at the dentist and can’t face that copy of Hello from 2003 again? Scroll though twitter.
– Bored in B&Q while your boyfriend or husband browses the nuts and bolts aisle? Ah yes, where’s your twitter?
– Trying to avoid catching the eye of your old Maths teacher in Starbucks across your skinny latte? Oh look, you got a very important tweet that you MUST look at. Now.
Now I don’t really want to advocate looking for love on twitter because there are a fair few odd ones on there, and a big chunk of twittersphere are not who they say they are.
I met my man on twitter. Even though he likes to pretend otherwise – he stalked me, nicely (see point 2). The advantage was that we both knew of each other already, but twitter gave us a portal to start chatting. Call it a modern day love letter. Or telegram or something. But without it, I wouldn’t be in the very happy relationship I am today. So if we get married one day, forget doves, I’m going to make sure there’s a little blue bird represented somewhere!
Tweet me @charlie_radio