I had writer’s block at the library today (a building full of words can do this to a man), so I joined Twitter, despite my vow never to darken its stupid doors. For a while, I had no idea what I was doing, or how to stop or start doing it. I was just flailing around in under 140 characters. Then, something sort of clicked, and within the space of two hours I had 600 “followers”. I’m old enough to know that they aren’t “followers” in the messianic sense, just people who have clicked on a thing for the hell of it when they should be working, but I was a bit shocked. I took my laptop and went and sat in the British Library restaurant, there to eat my packed lunch (decanted onto an actual plate to make it look like I’d bought it at the restaurant) and I just watched my inbox fill up as I munched my oily fish and salad. It was mad.
In the first instance, it was a funny diversion. Sort of like watching an ants’ nest. Then it was a form of insanity, especially as I started “following” other people and reading that Alan Davies was having trouble working because of Twitter – and assuming that this was the case for every other media professional and/or non-media non-professional on Twitter. Then I settled into a Zen-like state of surrender, and guess what, my writer’s block went away and I wrote a short piece about Alfred Hitchcock’s cameo appearances in record time. I think I still hate Twitter, but I hate it in a different way: I hate it and I hate myself.
23 further people have decided to “follow” me while writing this. More fool them.