P-Plates Required!

I love social media. Especially twitter.

But I think I need a manual and some p-plates.

In the rush to keep up with the feed, I skim-read, trying to pick up the nuances in 140 characters.

Occasionally, I see a tweet I don’t like. Generally, I ignore it. If it really offends me, I unfollow, without fanfare (I’m not very good at confrontation).

Last night, though, I was the offender.

In my quest to be the funniest and most supportive woman EVER on twitter. I fucked up.

After hitting send, it crossed my mind that it might not have been the most appropriate tweet I could have sent, but it was a direct message from someone else that hammered it home.

Fortunately for me, the person who received the tweet was as beautiful and as sweet as she always is (and thankfully not offended) , but it got me thinking (and worrying).

Should there be some sort of quality control (“Sorry @user4576 that tweet was not funny and will be deleted”)?

How often do our (my) tweets miss the mark? What happens when we do?

Should I stop mixing gin and twitter?

Have you ever regretted a tweet?

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I Heart Twitter

Facebook is making me cranky at the moment.

Some days it’s one long stream of advertising with weird stuff my friends have ‘liked’ after too many vinos.

Other days I’m bored rigid with statuses telling me how fabulous their lives are, when I know that in reality the husband can’t keep it in their pants, and that they are only staying together for the sake of the kids.

Twitter, however, floats my boat. I know there is a dark side and I’m not going to write about it here, as others have done so already, and far more eloquently than I could.

There are nasty people in real life. It’s how you respond that’s the key.

Moving 16,000 km from the UK was one of our better ideas, but neither of us were prepared for the harsh reality of the move. There have been times of loneliness, isolation and despair.

In those moments I turned to twitter.

For the laughs, certainly. Where else would you find out about a cat called Henri? Or a rabbit discovering the disappointment of sex?

I love the women in my twitter feed. Their powerful voices and humour are given a platform that they just aren’t in real life. My twitter heroine at the moment is Jane Caro who set the twittersphere alight with her #destroythejoint tag in response to the rantings of Alan Jones.

I’ve shared my angst about Boy Wonder, about Asperger’s, parenting, even the best place to go for dinner. I’ve sought advice and reassurance and I’ve received it in spades.

There is an article published nearly every week about how meaningful relationships are being affected by social media. I think that’s stupid. Via twitter I am able to seek out those with whom I have a genuine affinity rather than being strait-jacketed into social groups where the only thing we have in common is the fact that our children are in the same grade at school.

I have met some lovely people since I arrived, but it takes time to create friendships where mutual trust is a given. Often, I am playing “the new girl” and putting on a front. Not being fake exactly, but behaving like someone on the first day at a new job. You can’t show your crazy self too soon, can you?

On twitter, I can say what I want, when I want.

If I don’t like what someone is saying, I quietly unfollow. If they turn out to be racist bigots I can block them. Oh, how I’d LOVE to be able to do that in real life!

Last week, during the lead up to RUOK? day, I certainly wasn’t ok. The number of people who reached out to me on twitter with kind words or humour was heartwarming and humbling at the same time.

My twitter is full of tweeps who make me laugh, offer encouragement to blog, reach out a hand when I’m having a falling down day, or share a virtual gin.

And I love it.