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Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Twitter is the New Paedophiles

Officials have announced that using Twitter is as bad as touching kids.

This may seem a disproportionate statement and I should apologise if anyone reading was inappropriately handled as a minor but, as a nation, we seem intent on having some kind of epidemic in our lives and Twitter is the new threat to humanity. In the late 90s we were all living next to a paedo. That curtain twitch wasn’t a caring neighbour ensuring that any local ne’er do wells aren’t robbing you blind, crapping on your lawn and spraying “Chaz 4 eva” across your driveway. No. They wanted to do your children. 
The clamour faded as we realised that they probably didn’t want to touch anyone, they wanted to kill everyone! Yes 90 year olds Mr and Mrs Jones with their seventeen cats and rusting Fiesta were actually terrorists, intent on destroying you, your household, the whole street and everything you stand for or had ever considered standing for had it not looked like a bit too much effort. 

Now the maniacs Saddam, Osama and Mad Dog are all underground, Bush is ousted and there’s only Blair to be tracked and trialled, we need a new threat. Ever hungry to fill our insatiable need for villainy the press are more than happy to provide one. Only this time in the form of social media. Yes, the Premier League footballer, your local MP, the fit one from that forgettable girl band, some bloke at the hockey club and even the scruffy student next to you are all at it. Chances are the person sat opposite you now, seemingly just sending a carefree text to their mum are secretly doing it now! They are Tweeting! Terrifyingly, you might not like what they say. In fact, astonishingly in this day and age, you may even disagree with it! This must be stopped.

In the space of just 140 characters it would appear that anyone has the power to incite hatred, fear, disgust, disdain or a world-wide “trend”. Something akin to flares in the 60s, or the habit of singers scratching and screeching out lyrics of songs at the moment in order to infer passion and emotion in place of ability and musical talent. It matters not how obviously insane or irritatingly stupid you are. In fact the more so the better by all accounts! God forbid Joey Barton or Jordan, sorry, Katie Price hash tag some sort of revolutionary utterance or else we may be waking up to an entirely different world tomorrow!

My hockey club, my workplace, there is no escaping the fact that somewhere people are tweeting idiotic things they haven’t the mental capacity to think through and somewhere else a mass of people with not a lot else on are not only reading it but are literally incensed that they dare think such a thing let alone tell their tragic line of followers about it.

What happened to the common sense in the world? What happened to the naturally in-built filter that stopped us listening (equally dangerously one could argue) to the tried and tested academics, community leaders and national figureheads? Stephen Hawking? Nelson Mandella? Johnny Ball and Fred Dibnah!  How were we suddenly tuned in to the “thoughts” of some tart that screwed some guy on the last reality tv spin off? Most importantly of all – why do we care?

I am all for a free media for the one main reason that I can choose what I take in, what I ignore and most of all, the credence I award it. I will admit to you now that I do, on occasion, read The Sun. I say read. It has pretty pictures and it amuses me. I for not one second care about any of the contents; it has never stirred me to write a strongly worded letter of complaint, moved me to tears or for that matter initiated the batting of a single eyelid. It’s toss. Glossy, imaginative at best, toss. I find it embarrassing that as a nation, a race even, we can’t just take what Twitter is on face value.

Twitter is a way to while away precious seconds at work, to vent grievances, to report your daily life to the electronic vacuum in the vain attempt to believe that someone actually cares. The fact that people do should reflect more on their own empty lives than the Tweeter themselves shouldn’t it?