Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Over-familiarity Breeds Contempt.

Warning - contains language.

It had all begun so well. Through the resolutely non- intrapersonal network Twitter – you may be dimly aware of it through such Daily Mail headlines as “What *insert name of celebrity here* Tweeted Yesterday!” – I’ve been interacting with some people I would never generally have come into social contact with during what I’d consider to be the normal run of things. After I posted a blog about her tour manager, Gretchen Peters and her charming partner @barelywashed followed me for a while (I’m guessing until the relentless barrage of 140-character messages about how cute my son is got on top of her), a random joke about a guitar-based version of The X-Factor rolled Toto’s @stevelukather into the fold – he’s genuinely engaging – and only last night the very man who wrote Michael Jackson’s Thriller - @rodtemperton ‘followed’ me back, which was nice, because I used to live in Cleethorpes too.
Generally though, as anyone has used the popular social media platform will know, Twitter is used for exchanging #hashtag jokes, posting pictures of your dinner, forwarding links to @rockingvicar, bitching about television you’re not enjoying but are watching anyway, occasionally butting in on the conversations that celebrities are having among themselves (and being ignored in the same way as you would be if you did it in the pub) and, of course, posting 140- character missives on how cute your three year-old is being. You can tell the people who are in a similar boat to you because their tweets about cBeebies all tend to appear at around the same time as yours.

Occasionally, of course, you can get the comportments dreadfully wrong. Genius comedy writer David Quantick* was clearly watching something on the television and wrote “Fuck off, Quirky” on Twitter. Beings as how my online moniker is Skirky - which sounds a bit similar - I replied quickly with “Calm down, Qu’unty”. I know – oh my aching sides - do you see what I did there? Even to the point of popping the apostrophe in the middle? I had an immediate response – one of the people who does follow me (the erstwhile presenter of Lloyd Cole Knew My Father and The Rough Guide, and TV script fixer-upper extraordinaire is not in this category - I imagine he’s got much better things to do with his time) ‘favourited’ the tweet. “Good” I thought, “At least someone got that, then”.

I checked in with one of my regular online Forum haunts this morning over coffee to see that as well as the regular public badinage - mostly about the Folk Awards and this year’s Cropredy line up - I had a personal message. “Is that you fighting with Quantick over on Twitter, Shane?” it read. Uh oh. So I checked. There it was “@Quantick : Hi. Go Fuck Yourself”.

Ah. Should I do my ‘Grumpy old man’ joke here? Too much?        

*For those of you unaware of David Quantick’s work, his wiki entry is here; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Quantick

It’s a lot more extensive than mine.

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