If you’re about to read this and don’t use Twitter, it’s not going to mean an awful lot to you. That’s not to say you can’t read on – you’re most welcome to – I’m just saying. However, if you’re one those people that doesn’t use Twitter because “it’s just a load of people telling each other what they’ve eaten for breakfast”, then I strongly urge you to do the following: (1) power down your laptop immediately, (2) shut yourself away in a darkened room, and (3) punch yourself in the face repeatedly. (And if you’re finding that difficult to achieve because self-preservation has kicked in, please go outside and ask a helpful passerby to do it for you.) OK? Good.
As I write this blog post, I’ve been on Twitter for 1 year, 2 months, 1 week, 20 hours, 24 minutes, 19 seconds. And I love it.
It’s a place where people can direct me to content that has the power to educate, inspire, infuriate or simply make me smile. It’s somewhere I’m guaranteed laughter and conversation, without someone politely feigning peanut-related anaphylactic shock in order to side-step my awkward conversation at a party. And it’s an experience that’s left me with the odd story to bore the grandchildren with, like a crusty old war veteran (“Kids, did I ever tell you about the time thousands of us got together on Twitter and skewed a Daily Mail poll?”).
It’s where my days now begin and end.
But none of the stuff above just magically happens. It takes people to make Twitter what it is. And I’ve been lucky enough to come across some very lovely people over the last year and a bit. People I feel I can call ‘friends’, even though I’m unlikely to ever meet them in ‘real life’.
I try not to think about the time when Twitter comes to an end and those friends aren’t there any more. But this week, sadly, one of those friends left Twitter quite abruptly, leaving nothing behind except for her timeline and a brief farewell message. I’m talking about @IndieLou, who I started following last year after we were both re-tweeted by a Twitter account that aggregated tweets with the word “klunge” in.
I considered @IndieLou one of my original Twitter chums. She was witty, acerbic, outrageously rude at times, and was the unrivalled hashtag queen. As such, she became extremely popular on Twitter, amassing nearly 800 followers. However, on Friday afternoon she deleted her bio, restored her avatar to the default Twitter bird, posted a farewell tweet…and vanished. Even her blog has gone.
After a week of normal Twitter activity, @IndieLou’s final tweet of the day on Thursday was about going home and needing a wee! So with that in mind, her vanishing act the following day came completely out of the blue. It was as unexpected as the appearance of Jaye Davidson’s willy in The Crying Game, just as my teenage loins were gearing up for a sex scene. And it left me feeling every bit as confused.
But even though Lou’s seemingly decided not engage with Twitter any more, she’s stopped short of deleting her account completely. After all, keeping your account open leaves the option of quietly popping back every now and then to see who’s missing you. It’s like my fantasy of being the ghostly guest at my own funeral. Anyone who doesn’t cry, remember me as hilarious or hail me as a tragic genius, will wake one night to find their chairs stacked precariously on the dining room table and one of their children trapped inside the television. Ha-ha-ha!!!!
Anyway, I sent Lou several direct messages to check if she was OK and to ask why she’d suddenly decided to leave Twitter, but they’ve unfortunately gone unanswered. I guess we’ll never know why she left.
So I guess it’s goodbye @IndieLou. I’ll leave you with the last hashtag tweet she posted (which I actually re-tweeted at the time). And please, no more sudden departures from Twitter…unless I’m consulted fully beforehand.
Typically, @IndieLou returned to Twitter on the same day I posted this. Nothing to do with my blog, but it’s good to have her back nonetheless.
Right, you’ve had your happy ending – now move on to a blog you’d rather be reading.