Have you ever sat in a bar, street cafe or a coffee shop, just people watching? Unconsciously scouring and surveying your surroundings at what people do, examining the expressions on their faces, or just secretly trying to overhear the endearing nonsense that emerges from their mouths? Welcome to my Twitterverse.
When I first signed up to Twitter, I had mixed thoughts about Social Media, in fact, up until two years ago, I’d never been a member, subscriber or downloader of any form. However the attraction became too much and I decided to give Twitter a whirl.
There’s definitely a significant amount of chatter on Twitter that most of you would probably describe as uninteresting. Things like “#TonightsNosh”, “#SaturdayMorningSelfie” and not to mention the obligatory “#CostaCoffeeSkinnyLatteSelfie” and yes I was guilty of posting several of at least two of the aforementioned.
I am sure for many people, these mediocre updates of my life have little value and attract no attention. You may even wonder why I post these type of updates given they offer little to the overall pointless conversation. I guess it depends on how you want to define “pointless”. One person’s definition of “pointless” may be another person’s definition of “personal insight”. For some reason these mindless posts seem to be addictive viewing to family, friends, work colleagues or dare I say, the twitter stalkers, as yours are to me.
Given my recent experience, Twitter is simply a lamentably one dimensional version of reality television played out in a 140 character limit. Some people might view reality television as pointless, for others however it reveals aspects of ones humanity that can enlighten far more than many a drama.
The infectious thing about Twitter is that it is reality television without those pesky scriptwriters and the editing with the added bonus of the ‘delete tweet’ button if you’re quick enough before your misspelt, angry or simply drunken tweet has been read by the entire world.
I’ve had my Twitter account for two years almost to the day and what it has taught me is just how much I relied on social media to drift into my dream world and escape from the daily drag of life. When you completely take away social media, you quickly realise how much free time you have in your life.
With hindsight and foresight, social media is invading and bamboozling itself into my life quite considerably, all parts of it. I reinvented myself and its become the world which I can escape to after a rubbish day at work or on a lonely night in.
I check my Twitter accounts, (yes accounts), me, the dog and my spoof celebrity account, when I watch TV, when I’m in bed and even when I’m having a real life conversation. I also admit to checking my timeline when I’m on the toilet – come on don’t we all!
To me, Social Media is a bit like having Fried Chicken and Jo Jo’s a few times a month, its a nice treat, but if I were to eat Fried Chicken and Jo Jo’s every day I’d get sick of it and it would no longer be a treat. I thought I’d invested too much in my Twitter account and I began to wonder what was the point of it and where was this journey taking me.
I decided to delete my account for a number of reasons, because I could, because I wanted to see how it effects my digital and non-digital life and because I felt the need to make a bit more of an analog effort in my life. I wanted to understand what a non Twitter addicted life was like again.
I have fond memories of the buzz I got from the multiple ReTweets from a well timed witty tweet, I remember my all time best during the 2014 Eurovision Song Contest when I suggested Ukraine and Russia should join forces and sing Crimea River! I think I racked up over 400 Retweets and 300 Favourites. My mobile lit up like a Belisha beacon all night.
I did find that sometimes some strange people from out there in the world decide they will follow you. You check their profile to see who they are and think to yourself: I wonder what the life of an “Melanesian food connoisseur who enjoys good times, coffee, wine and Barnsley FC might be like.’” So you follow her.
At the time of writing this blog the most followed person on Twitter was the most powerful man in the world, allegedly, President Barack Obama – yeah like he actually tweets, sorry to burst your bubble. These people have a team of people tweeting for them.
I think if you take the time to surround yourself with quality people on Twitter, these people will be your daily motivators sharing and commenting and giving a pat on the back when you need it and believe me you can’t possibly keep up with everyone you end up following.
I feel the need for a new agenda in my life and to achieve what I’m after will require every second of time, energy, luck and focus and anything that takes away from this I can no longer afford to be a part of. This year I’ve been on reality television which I have written one blog about and just completed part two. I have taken part in an Ironman and I’ve just changed jobs and I think I am feeling a little lost in the world not knowing where I’m going to get my next legal high.
I wondered what was wrong with me and decided to google it. I found the answer :
“A midlife crisis is experienced by many people during the midlife transition when they realise that their lives may be more than halfway over. Midlife Crisis usually starts to come into effect when the person begins to realise personal conflicts with themselves and the goals they want to achieve aren’t being reached by a certain time frame or age. In addition, when the person reaches midlife, and their personal goals aren’t met, sudden changes in their lifestyles are brought by ageing, health and a variety of self perceptions”
So it was decided I was going to commit Twittercide and spend the time writing my book!
“Today I will do something just for the fun of it. I will find something to do that’s just for me and I won’t worry about what I should be doing. I will learn how to make myself feel good and enjoy life to the fullest.”
It lasted a week and I began to realise Twitter wasn’t the problem it was me! This year has been jam packed with one high after another and a sudden change of job with significantly less stress has left me with no direction and has required me take stock of things in life. I perhaps need to write down some goals I want to achieve over the next five years not involving any reality television competitions or endurance races. It will however involve you guys, my twittersphere and my blog readers