The redoubtable Dr Yobbo has announced he will be absenting himself from Twitter. This has sent me into a bit of spin. No amount of pissing and moaning is going to change that so I figure I’ve got nothing to lose. Firstly, amid a tide of sage and sympathetic reactions amongst the Twitterati, may I be the first to have a virtual dummy-spit. Doc Yobbo’s leaving Twitter? WTF? How can this be? Who the hell is going to talk to me now? Despite the geography, I consider Doc a friend. He’s sharp, he’s witty and he’s ruthless in a debate. He’s sweary and funny-as-all-fuck to read. He’s generous with his time, knowledge and attention. I like him a lot. Sometimes, he even laughs at my jokes. I’m going to miss his company: he’s like the switched-on guy in the next cubicle at work who puts up with my incessant chatter and probably the reason why I stuck with Twitter. I’d always lampooned it and a variety of cached comments on the internet will attest to that. I just didn’t get it. Who would be interested in the minutiae of my life? How could you possibly construct a decent thought with 140 characters? How could you neglect blogs in favour of Twitter? It was like comparing a Raphael painting with an Andy Capp comic strip as far as I was concerned. Problem was I got lonely. My loyal blog readers disappeared. I found them on Twitter and stayed. Here was a real-time multi-threaded conversation that was fast-paced and fun: much more interesting than waiting around for people to visit your blog or for others to reply to your comments elsewhere. So I’m disappointed to be losing the frequent contact but something much bigger is bothering me: it’s the truth in his words. Blogging and reasoned thought are being neglected: yes, we’ve discussed this at length. Productivity and families are suffering he observes: yes indeed, I used to post to my blog daily; now I’m lucky to post once a month. Tweeting has become ‘an exercise in vanity which is a poor indictment on one’s character’
Ouch. Ouch and Ouch.
That observation hit a sore point. It has come to my attention that not only am I using Twitter as a distraction from my real life problems but I am investing far too much time thinking about impression I make which is ridiculous considering I’ve long abandoned the idea that blogging was going to make me famous enough to get paid to do it for a living. My tweets reveal a deeply entrenched need to remind people I have a woody for words and fancy myself a comedienne. I wouldn’t blame you for thinking otherwise but I’m not completely vain and self-obsessed. It’s just that I’m reticent to share my personal history and struggles in too much detail. I don’t generally post anything too sad or mundane. I think this hyper-awareness of what I post is a hangover from the time when cultivating a readership and writing funny articles used to be my daily joy and obsession. Let’s not forget what a blog essentially is: a truncated expression for web-log, an online diary. By its very design, a blog is a place where you talk about yourself. Early on I developed a preference for writing observational pieces and relying on humour rather than writing something heartfelt or revealing too much information. I spent a staggering amount of hours invested in that blog and when it imploded (along with my marriage and career) I was lost. I realize now that I have transferred all that energy into Twitter instead and that composing thinky tweets is for me, verging on some kind of perverse art form. Brevity is the soul of wit and all that. Even when I’m driving around my observations are composed in no more than 140 characters. If I’m perfectly honest with myself, I try to come off smart and funny to make up for other shortcomings and it’s got to stop. I think it has a lot to do with the fact I’m not getting enough social interaction in my daily life. A girl like me isn’t meant to be locked away from people for too long! I’m unemployed, largely by choice but my savings are depleting and I need to find work reasonably quickly. This means coming to terms with the fact that my window to achieve full-time status as a writer has ended. I must return to work and writing a part-time pursuit, at the very worst a mere divertissement. Twitter is great for gathering information and personal insights and it’s tempting to hang around there all day swapping dick jokes but with some reflection, I've decided to cut back a little and invest more time in my daughter and the art of blogging!