I have always been a bit dubious about twitter. By all accounts twitter could be a vicious place so with that in mind I tended to stay clear. Eventually though I became a little bolder and braved the twitter world. I’m no saint but I believe there is a time and a place for everything and that twitter isn’t always the best platform for self-expression. Some tweeters have taken their opinions too far, they forget that even cyber space has its limitations. Justifiably then, they found themselves on the wrong side of the law. But even those who remain on the right side of the law can take tweeting a tad too far.
I am not talking about trolls here for they are all too obvious, instead I am talking about those who inhabit that vague space between expressing their opinions and trolling. The arm chair critics that are downright nasty when they get behind a keyboard. For the purposes of this article I shall christen them the ‘twitches’.
Twitches come in many shapes and sizes, twitches come from all walks of life from the highly intelligent right through to the simple minded. Based on my observations (non-scientific I have better things to do with my time!) the vast majority of them seem to be male. I spent a few days seeking out twitches and my analysis drew me to a ratio of 8:2, men being in the lead! Twitches revel in a juicy pieces of gossip, the news of someone’s downfall, a good online argument and of course having a voice in a world where they are seldom listened to. In any other public arena the vast amount of twitches would be ousted, as spiteful, malicious and bullies. Yet in twitter which is also a public space the twitches bask in their own little rays of cyber sunshine.
Why these men feel the need to twitch is beyond me, perhaps they feel twitter is a safe arena to express their hidden bitches. It would look out of place in a workplace, on a lad’s night out or wherever they congregate so they keep them in. They store them up in their little minds until they are safely behind a computer, tablet or mobile phone screen. Then they let loose, boy do they let loose. It is different for many of us women, we tend to talk on the phone and meet friends on a regular basis. As such we don’t have that build up, the dormant frustration of supressing ones inner bitchiness for too long. As such the majority of our tweets show a little more restraint we generally don’t twitch, we don’t need too. Instead we watch, sometimes with great amusement as the twitches take to their stage! You see twitches suffer from a disease called cyber constipation, they are filled with nastiness, and twitter is their only laxative. It has become their forum for the relief of pent up bitchiness.
My personal introduction to the twitches came earlier this year and you guessed it, the vast majority were men. Nasty, mean spirited little men who rubbed their catty little fingers with glee as they tweeted their sanctimonious bile. We think it therefore we should say it seems to be the predominant attitude of the twitches. My twitches weren’t too bad, I got off lightly and even managed a laugh from and with some of them. Yet my experience proved that these men would make any coven jealous. Did they upset me? For the most part no, in fact they encouraged me to withdraw from all things twitter, which is a good thing for those with a life! I now keep my opinions and discussions for face book where I can monitor and approve those I interact with. Twitter is now simply a means to follow friends, interesting people or causes. I do follow the odd twitch but that is for my own amusement!
How to respond to the twitches? Ignore or better still employ the ‘don’t follow me, I’ll follow you’ attitude! Another handy tip comes from a fellow vixen who introduced me to a clever little button called block. Since blocking my twitches, twitter is again a safe place. BUT what if the twitches get a little more serious than bestowing us with their misguided opinions? What if their tweets become hurtful or sinister?
Well this has happened to many people, one in particular is a fellow vixen. She was bombarded in a serious twitter attack from many twitches. They kept their words within the law. Other than their ‘lawfulness’ and I say that loosely, they didn’t hold back. I watched in the space of one day exactly how malicious twitter can be. It seemed group attacks are acceptable online. She had been called names, her father called a spy and her friend’s paramilitaries. I ask you! Here is one of the tweets in question;
‘Your vindictive, vengeful ‘law’ flies in the face of conflict resolution. You are a petty spiteful woman.’
I could go on but you get the gist. If these twitches were to level such insults to her face I would imagine they would be in a little trouble by now, so why do these people feel it is ok to insult someone or to harass someone over the internet?
My only explanation is something which I am sure everyone has noticed. We tweeters and many twitches exist in incestuous cyber worlds. We tweet the same audiences daily, the circles where the twitches move are by in large composed of the same circles their followers are in. As such twitter becomes circular, you can tweet or twitch until your heart is content but you are tweeting to your already converted circle. Change your audience and I expect the result may be less retweets and a little more outrage. But why would any twitch do that? After all it’s safer to twitch to those who will agree with you. You see twitches are a lot of things but most of all they are ‘brave’.
I hope no twitches are reading this but if you are enjoy…. I will prepare myself for the onslaught! If expressing your nastiness from behind a keyboard makes you feel important then feel free. Remember though those words you write cannot be erased and someday you may regret them. As a preventative measure how about you peel yourself from the computer / tablet / phone, step back count to ten and think… is what I am about to say constructive? How will it reflect on me and how will it affect others? If the answer to either of those questions is negative then stop, restrain those vicious little fingers. By all means express your opinion, but how about you tone it down a little?
So fellow tweeters the moral of my cautionary blog is to take advantage of the block button, try to follow people who possess a modicum of morality and remember twitches come in any shape or form so be vigilant. The twitch species is predominantly male but don’t rule out female involvement. Once spotted the all too common and illusive creature deserves no response, no chit chat a simple death by blocking will suffice. Lastly if you take anything from this blog remember to tweet not twitch!
*Disclaimer: No twitches were harmed in the writing of this blog. If you too are effected by similar issues it is recommended you use the block button – liberally.*