Shouting in to the Westerly Winds
First of all let me thank everybody for the feedback on my first blog and I will try to take on some of the observations in this post. In my last blog I recounted how it was that I came to join Twitter and how my Twitter name originated. However, that is only part of the story. As anybody who follows me on Twitter will know I do not only Tweet on academic matters. Although I was first introduced to Twitter via a course the University sent me on in relation to using social media for academics it quite quickly evolved into something else and this is going to be the story of how this came about.
When I first started using Twitter I wasn’t quite sure what to make of it, particularly when it came to Tweeting myself. I know I have a number of my colleagues who are what I would call Twitter “lurkers” inasmuch as they regularly look at Twitter but don’t have the confidence to Tweet themselves or even are a little scared of it. I was a little like this myself at first however I quickly found, due to the sort of person that I was, I just could not contain myself and I think that is what gave me the impetus to develop in to the sort of Tweeter I am now.
I have often equated Tweeting with, drawing on that analogy of Dylan Thomas’, to standing on the top of Worms Head,( which is a small island near here that sticks out into the ocean . See picture) and screaming “bugger off to the world” into those gale force winds that roll in from the Atlantic.
I joined Twitter in about June 2011, that year was eventful politically and there were a number of news events that provided the impetus for me figuratively screaming my little lungs out into those Atlantic gales as they came in from the West, these was the Libyan war, the UK riots and the Royal Wedding . These events filled me with deep feelings of anger, injustice and rage. The Libyan war stank of Western neo colonialist meddling and injustice. My anger at the Royal wedding was not only how it appeared to be a celebration of the rotten class based structure of this country but also how it reinforced to me that increasingly dissent was not to be tolerated. (This is something I hope to post about later as I really think it is a worrying trend in the UK). Then toward the end of summer of that year we had the UK riots and having seen first-hand the impact that ConDem Govermental cuts had made to front line services and earlier in the year having to endure that orgy of material excess that was the Royal Wedding it smacked of injustice and double standards that people were being taken into custody for protesting at the excesses of the Royal Wedding and then later in the year poor people were being given custodial sentences for picking up a pair of shorts or a bottle of water during a riot. I could not but help ask myself who were the real thieves here of material and civil liberties.
These events and other provided the impetus to my Tweeting. As one of my followers the lovely @Lives_2Read pointed out I seemed to her as the sort of man who shouted at the telly. She was only too right and Twitter gave me the opportunity for my rantings against these injustices to be heard beyond my own living room. To be honest not that I really cared if people were listening or not, in the same way that I ranted at the TV whether people were in the room or not and even I was not so dull that I thought that those on the TV could hear me. It was just a medium through which I could vent my immediate rage, nothing more, nothing less. As any of you who familiar with Twitter will know there are plenty out there who will argue with you at best or simply ridicule you or insult you. I am too long in the tooth and thick of skin to be really influenced by any of that but if anything in hindsight I probably did engage too much with many who just weren’t worth the effort.
So there you have it, that’s what Twitter very quickly became for me a way to interact back into the world rather than the experience and news just come into on my own little Worms Head island I now had a way of shouting back. So there I was shouting, screaming, ranting and raving for all I was worth into the wind about the injustices of this world and then I stop for breath and glance over my shoulder and there are over a thousand people listening, and I’m like “ WTF where did they come from??” :-/