I am an intermittent user of Twitter – I have managed to produce 18 tweets (as I believe the idiom goes) since starting an account back in May (well, there were no nuts to gather – not in this hemisphere anyway). This shows significantly more commitment than I have to Facebook, which I contrive to visit annually (but not much more than that).
I don’t really understand Twitter: I have heard of, but never used, a ‘hash tag’ (I am assuming that it’s a label to identify a dish traditionally made with corned beef). I have had one ‘mention’ and have managed to construct a vaguely cogent reply (in my opinion at least). Retweeting, searches and lists remain a foreign country. However, in a rare feat of technical mastery on my part, I have managed to link my Twitter ‘feed’ to this blog, where it appears as Condensity, thus sparing any Twitter-phobic readers the need to actually use Twitter whilst still receiving my sub-142 character attempts at humour. The Bard of Avon put the words “brevity is the soul of wit” into the mouth of Polonius, a man who, like myself, was not given to shortness of expression – let’s just say, I steer well clear of arrases. This may be a necessary condition for wit, but as I think Condensity ably demonstrates it is not a sufficient one. True wit requires more than an isolated soul to be effective – some sort of flesh-based veil is also needed as an absolute minimum.
I follow a handful of folk, and am in turn followed by the contents of an even smaller hand (and one of those seems to be a clothing company: then again, I am a style icon to many – no sniggering at the back!). Whenever I use it, Twitter offers me a triumvirate of people it suggests I add to those I already follow – yet another example of cyber-bullying, and one which I have largely resisted. Those suggested tend to be professional comedians which may well be an attempt by the Twitter authorities to improve the quality of my input (passive-aggression is not limited to glove puppets!). However, today it has suggested that I follow Cheryl Cole. Oh, the shame of it!
I can’t help wondering where I have gone wrong in life to cause Twitter to think that this suggestion would meet with any measure of positive approbation. I have looked back through my tweets, but they do not appear to show even the slightest interest in celebrity culture, WAGs or musically-limited female singing ensembles of recent years (or, even, come to that, cloakroom-based assault). I can but hope it was some sort of software-glitch – or I may have to do a Reggie (Perrin that is, not Kray – I have no real taste for violence or the East End).
The title? Obvious surely. A brief extract from Rudyard Kipling’s “Follow me ‘ome” which seemed somewhat apposite to today’s symposium, marking in this case the death of my self-respect (though in the original, the death of a soldier).