Twitter’s a dangerous game. Except it *isn’t a game.*

Twitter is one of those places where The Rules, such as they are, appear to be quite strongly ingrained. One of those involves the concept of the ‘Subtweet’ (which we have discussed before) and how individuals use this to express their displeasure at behaviour from specific individuals on their feeds without the necessary inconvenience of naming them. However, the subtweet ‘gambit’ only works if the person doing the talking is actually aiming to abuse someone to begin with. The assumption, and this shows just how negative many people expect Social Media to be, is that you’ll always moan at someone without naming them. 

The thing is, maybe it was’t aimed at you to begin with. Perhaps it wasn’t aimed at anybody at all.

A perfect example of this came yesterday, when my annoyance at people not actually reading what I write and simply interpreting what they want surfaced over several weeks worth of blog replies, after a particularly fraught morning. Ironically, that then was exactly what happened with someone else, because the assumption now seems to be that when anything is said on Twitter with some kind of ‘generic’ or ‘vague’ subtext this clearly means that response you just made to my post, and therefore I must be moaning at you. In shock news I don’t spend every moment of my day obsessively checking my Website for the latest feedback, because otherwise no life at all would ever be had.

My day yesterday, in .GIF form ^^

As this is now the second time an incident of this type has taken place in as many months, I sense I’m stuck in a bit of a cleft stick: I thought I’d been clear enough in the last few weeks to make sure I could manage any misunderstanding. It now occurs to me, because I’m slow and often quite dense, that I’m not actually the whole problem. If someone else is following me and decides to leave because they don’t like what I’m writing, I’m still doing a job. I’m making them think, regardless of the sentiments that may be generated. That isn’t about my words, it’s their interpretation of what is presented, and if all you are looking for is a view of the World where you agree with the people around you? Actually, I get that, probably more than a lot of people might initially believe I’m capable of. But I know there are two sides to this story, even if some people would like to ignore the bad.

This is what I am. Especially the outfit.

The upshot of this is… well, nothing. Even if I don’t say anything I know is aimed at a specific person, someone is still capable of assuming I have, as the number of people who follow me continues to rise. My point is to those people who follow others on Twitter and become overly obsessed with what they read? Don’t. It’s dangerous and unhealthy and will only lead to you getting far more upset than the person to whom you focus your interest, because more likely than not they’ll not even realise you’ve got a problem to begin with. That’s me this morning, and I now know that for my own sanity, there’s going to need to be a far more active policing of my personal spaces than there has been previously.

Hopefully this will simply stop the problems before they start, but you can never tell.


  1. Just reminded me that I'm still not sure what I think of our friend Stephen with a beard (not sure if you saw his interview with George Lucas)…

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