Twitter? It’s a bit like Marmite. People love it or hate it. Though often those that ‘hate’ it know now’t all about it. “I can’t be bothered with all that nonsense”, implying that you are somewhat of a shallow fool. Or “ I don’t know where people find the time”, whereas you of course have absolutely nothing else to do but indulge in such fripperies.
Don’t knock it ’till you’ve tried it
I don’t try to stop people pursuing their interests. So obviously I take issue with those who feel free to criticise me, albeit indirectly, for ‘wasting’ my time. Especially if they are talking out of their bottoms. I’ve had a Twitter account for ages, but only started using it actively a few years ago to support James Bowen and Bob – now famous through Street Cat Bob, but at the time virtually unknown. Through those first tweets I made contact with a whole load of delightful people, some of whom I have actually met and whom I’m very happy to count as friends.
A delightful community of interesting, caring people
Now that I’ve published the first of my books, I use Twitter to help promote it. I’m under no illusions. I know that this alone will not make me a best selling author. There is, however, so much more to Twitter than self-promotion. In my experience it’s a delightful community of interesting, good-hearted people who share their knowledge, their ideas, articles they have found, funny pictures, stories, book reviews, art – just about anything and everything you could think of. A rich seam of education and entertainment.
Everything has an ‘off’ button, including Twitter
Of course there are the people who only self promote. And those who tweet drivel. Who witter on about what they had for lunch and suchlike. But with Twitter as with most things, there’s an ‘off’’ button, or its equivalent. Even if someone follows you, it doesn’t mean you have to follow them. That way, you keep out of each other’s hair. As to the trolls. Clearly they exist and clearly they are nasty. I’ve been fortunate I guess in not being famous or doing anything that attracts the jealous attention of such people.
More dog charities than you could throw a stick for
Among my followers I count loads of writers, a smattering of lawyers and barristers, including a QC and two criminologists. Anyone who knows me will not be surprised to learn that I follow and am followed by more dog charities than you could throw a stick for including my beloved A.C.E., Battersea Cats and Dogs Home, Dogs Trust– just a few among many. Plus other tireless animal charities and individuals who campaign to end cruelty – Peter Egan, Animals Asia, SAMPA and C.A.R.I.A.D. and their supporters. And far too many others to mention here.
All human life is here
So dogs and cats in all shapes and sizes, tigers, monkeys, bears and other four-leggeds all feature on my Twitter account. Some of the cats and dogs even follow me! As to the humans – they come in all flavours. Serious, funny, interesting, erudite, kind, resourceful, helpful, engaged, creative and more. They come from every corner of the globe – or would do if the globe had corners. I’ve swapped rants about public transport with a writer in New York, exchanged views with a jazz trombonist who is into neuropathology, followed the tweets of a Canadian involved in fishing rights and the law. Truly, as they say, all human life is here. And long may it continue.