Twitter: a love letter

January 24, 2014 at 7:46 pm | Posted in cycling | 4 Comments
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It’s commonly assumed that twitter is a place for those who have nothing better to do. No trendy, witty friends, no quirky-but-satisfying hobbies, no demanding-yet-fulfilling work, no thrilling sex life.

imageI’ve got all of these, of course (well, I’m not working much at the moment, which explains why I have so much time to google around for Sherlock/ Cumberbatch/ procycling / cobbles/ cake/ fancrafts crossover blogs to submit Benegent-Wevelbatch to). With such a full, rewarding life, what can twitter possibly add?

I know people who say things like, ‘Oh, I get all my financial news through twitter,’ or ‘I just use it for interacting with students,’ or ‘It’s great for finding out what’s happening in the world of publishing.’ These people are either lying, or they don’t understand.

Here are the real reasons to love twitter:

  1. Silliness. I’m not talking cat videos here (though if you haven’t seen the kittens on the Roomba set to Rite Of Spring, go and watch it immediately), but highly-refined, top-grade, personalised, industrial-strength silliness on a daily basis. Whatever you find funny, there’s someone out there who will take it to the next level. And then make a .gif of it, just for you.

A completely randomly-selected picture of someone else’s procycling crush. Not mine. Obviously

  1. Thoughtfulness. People remember stuff. @_mmmaiko_ makes sure I get a copy of every procyclist’s birthday cake that goes past in her timeline. @pariswheels sends me emergency pictures of my procycling crush when I’m in the doldrums. And an army of people spot and link to tweets about procycling dreams to feed revesperminute.
  1. Help. Post a dilemma and within minutes, people are offering advice. Then criticising each other’s advice, then getting into full-on name-calling scraps (this has only happened once, so far. Oh, actually, twice.). People DM about their own experiences, and offer real-life help: coffees and bike rides and cyclocross lessons. Someone will always tell you to man up (I’m looking at you, @rebecca_slack) and take the mickey out of you kindly (I think @broomwagonblog’s being kind, anyway).
  1. Motivation. No, not Alain de-sodding-Botton. People, out there, doing what they do: biking, painting, thinking, creating, writing, reading, racing. Not stars, or celebs; just people, Getting On With It. I’m inspired to Get On With It, too.
  1. Like minds. I spend my whole life searching obsessively for people I click with. Those rare, insane, mind-meld moments where you think, with a cold rush, ‘Oh. You really GET this, don’t you.’ Everyone who hung glumly around record shops as a teenager, hoping to meet a real live person they had something in common with, is now on twitter. And you can weep helplessly with them over the word ‘haunches’, and play pun games that nobody else finds funny, and help them imagine the cast of Downton Abbey doing cyclocross. And it’s just marvellous.

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