But really, listen, no, don’t roll your eyes, move that soap box over a bit and help me to clamber up onto it….. This social media stuff. I mean, poison or poison? I’m following only a handful of people and they’re all lovely people, I know them, some of them I know quite well, but even with just this little clutch of people-I-like, Twitter is already, after a few days, packed to the gunnels with venom and contempt, from both finger wagging, self-righteous lefties and ludicrously ‘entitled’ righties. Where’s the love? I mean, seriously, listen… WHERE is the love?
We can dislike Amber Rudd’s evasiveness without slagging her off, we can choose not to venerate Corbyn without ridiculing him, we can empathise with the parents of Alfie Evans without attacking the doctors who cared for him, we can mistrust Trump without calling him a self-absorbed pea-brained racist bigot (OK, maybe that one escapes us). Surely we’re mature enough to realise that not every comment linked to Corbyn’s facebook is down to him? And anyway, what’s he doing on facebook? He’s a political leader, isn’t he? Aren’t there other, more reliable, more intellectually rigorous platforms? How about Parliament for starters?
We have a US President who conducts world affairs on Twitter and a leader of the opposition who can be found only on Grindr… or something. See, I can say anything I like here and the chances are someone somewhere will believe it, and relay it, and embellish it, and before you know where you are we have a Tory government and a useless opposition and lunatic in the White House. Tsk.
To tweet or not to tweet? That is the question. Because I’m crowd funding my autobiography (novel, funny, fictionalised but true. Howzat for a riddle?) I’m supposed to ‘out there’ on every new media platform, giving it large. But after just, let me count, four days, I feel as if it’s tainting my soul. I’m reacting to people I don’t know, who are saying or retweeting stuff that makes my old heart shrivel. Here’s the thing: we are all flawed. We are all at times stupid. We are all at times kind and compassionate.
I am what my life has made me, and you are what your life has made you. I promise not to point at you shouting ‘Idiot! Witch! Bastard!’ if you promise not to point at me shouting ‘Twit! Fatty! Flat footed reactionary bigot!’ Instead, how about if we listen to each other? How about I tell you that once I was on a plane that crash landed at Orly airport, and then I was Roman Catholic schoolgirl, then an atheist while pretending to be a soldier in Her Maj’s big bad Army, and then I got dumped at the altar by a Geordie eedjit, and ricocheted straight into the arms of a violent wannabe mercenary, and we ran aground off the Isle of Sheppey in the converted death trap we lived in with our two dogs and cats, by which time I was an agnostic and then I married a kind presbyterian Scot, and became quite Tory (I voted Maggie T!) then I morphed into a depressed Mum (the inevitable guilt ensuing after voting Maggie T) and then a wildly passionate writer, into all manners of excess (gently advised to leave a brown cafe in Amsterdam before I ate all the funny tasting cakes), and then I found Christ (and began to make sense of it all), and now I walk the dogs and have a bloody good life? How about if I tell you that?
Maybe in that long list we will find some points where we understand each other and maybe even agree with each other. Maybe we’ve both been in the same place at some time, before you went Corbyn’s way and I….. didn’t.
And you know what? Some of my ideas are crap, and some are good, and sometimes I have a lovely and accurate world view and sometimes I’m slightly to the right of Mussolini. I am me. And you are you.
For crying out loud, let’s bloody well celebrate each other. Sod off, twitter.